THOMAS — It's been a grueling two week stretch for the defending 3A state champion Snake River Panther volleyball squad and on Thursday evening, that tough road got even tougher as the always tough Sugar-Salem Diggers came calling for a non-conference tilt on the court.
"Sugar and Bear Lake always bring their very best game against us," Snake River head coach Shelli VanOrden said. "I was pleased with how the girls came out and played tonight."
Playing their third opponent in as many nights, the Panthers simply out hit the Diggers as the two teams put on a thrilling display of volleyball with the Panthers prevailing 3-1.
"It was a good week for us but we had two long bus trips where we were able to accomplish some things that we had set out to do," Coach VanOrden said. "I was a little concerned about tonight because the past two nights have been late nights and there could have been some fatigue."
Sugar-Salem came out firing at the Panthers winning the first game 25-22 and nearly pulled off a comeback in the second game as they erased a six point deficit before Snake River closed the deal on the 25-23 victory.
From there, the Panthers had their collective feet under them as they picked apart the Digger defensive alignments with 25-18 and 25-17 wins in the third and fourth games.
"We've played 25 games in the past two weeks but these girls never let up," Coach VanOrden said. "I was happy to see that."
Brylie Bair led the charge on Thursday evening as the sensational sophomore pounded home 17 kills. Senior Jocelyn Harper was her normal stellar self as she blasted 15 kills and also performed fabulously at the service line where she accounted for 6 service points in the fourth and final game.
Macy Martin and Scout Baldwin each had 4 kills while senior setter Kenzie Taylor was the floor general, dishing out a whopping 40 assists on the evening.
Snake River will open conference play when they travel to Marsh Valley on Wednesday evening.