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Niwot Volleyball continues to roll

The Niwot Cougars continued their winning ways with victories over Frederick High School and Mountain View High School Oct 11 and 13, respectively. Niwot is now 10-4 overall, 7-1 in the Longs Peak League, and was ranked eighth in Class 4A coming into the week.

"We came into this match a little beat up," Head Coach Tony Engel said after the Frederick victory. "Grace Demmel, our senior middle, was hurt and we need her to be fresh for us in a couple weeks."

With Demmel injured, other Cougars had to step up. "Linzy Kaus was great, she played the same spot last week," Engel said of Demmel's replacement. "With her on the floor we really haven't seen a dropoff."

While Demmel was out, the Cougars' starting libero was back on the floor. "Varshini Panuganti is back with us," Engle said. "She had a wrist issue. She just steadies everyone out. She's a returning state player last year for us. With her on the floor, everyone is a little bit more calm and under control."

Engel also got senior Jo Gravelle into the game, to the delight of the students in the crowd. "She also plays softball," Engle said. "It's a really cool story. She practices both every day. It's worked out really well between us and softball. Having Jo has really helped us."

Niwot started slowly against Frederick and was down 7-4 in the first game. Junior Giselle Grier dropped an ace serve on the court to start a run of five straight points, putting the Cougars up 12-10, and they never looked back.

Junior Addison Engel served an ace to put Niwot up 16-11, and sophomore setter Anne Haley got into the act with another ace serve, giving Niwot a lead of 18-12. Senior Hannah Waldron ended one of the longest volleys of the night with a kill, making it 19-12, and three aces in a row by senior Paige Demosthenes put Niwot ahead 22-15. Another kill by Waldron helped the Cougars close it out with a 25-15 win.

In the second game, Haley started off with a serve that hit the net and dropped, putting the Cougars up 1-0. Kills by Waldron and several ace serves by Demosthenes helped Niwot to an 11-1 lead. A great save by senior Angie Xu led to a kill by Engle, putting Niwot up 15-4. Two aces by Grier and a rare kill by setter Haley gave Niwot a 20-5 lead, and a dink by Engel made the score 23-6.


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