THOMAS — On Wednesday evening Snake River head coach Shelli VanOrden stated that her team was going to beat Bear Lake on Thursday evening because of the work that they got against the Beavers.
On Thursday, VanOrden's Panthers came out and proved their coach to be quite prophetic as they swept their biggest rivals 25-15, 25-15 and 25-18 much to the delight of the large crowd in attendance.
"This was the best that I have seen them play all year," Coach VanOrden said. "Everyone and I mean everyone did their jobs tonight and like I told them after the game, if they play like they did tonight, we will win state this year."
Perhaps it was the senior celebration or perhaps it was the fact that these Panthers wanted a bit of revenge after dropping three games at Bear Lake just two weeks previous.
Whatever the case, the Panthers came out firing on all cylinders as they ambushed the Bears from the opening serve, racing to a pair of 10-point victories before most of the crowd had a chance to collect their collective breath.
"I think that we surprised Bear Lake a little bit tonight," Coach VanOrden said. "We have worked very hard over the past couple of weeks preparing for tonight but Bear Lake is a good team and their coach is the best and I know that they will make some adjustments and be ready at districts."
For Thursday night, no adjustments were going to deny Snake River on their senior night and each one of them turned in great performances on their final regular season match on their home court.
Jocelyn Harper was her normal powerful self as she pounded away at the Bear Lake defense for 20 kills on the evening. Macy Martin was huge in the middle with a pair of blocks and a solid night from the service line.
Shayla Christensen collected 15 digs on the evening, which matched the fifteen floor burns that she earned from her work at the libero position and Kenzie Taylor dished out a whopping 32 assists on an evening in which she ran the offense to near perfection.
"I love these girls," Coach VanOrden said. "I love all of these girls and there is no practice tomorrow."
The Panthers will host this years district tournament and they will open up defense of their conference title on Tuesday at 2 o'clock when they play the fourth seed. They will then play a second game at either 5 or 6:30 depending upon whether they win or lose the first game.