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Updated: 03/22/2014 08:00:00AM

Seventh graders show improvement in loss

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PHOTOS BY DAVE BREMER

The seventh grade Panthers squad warms up before its match against Avon Park. Taylor Oliver (left) finishes a bump pass while Stephanie Whitmore completes an overhead pass.

PHOTOS BY DAVE BREMER

Harley Boden Shows perfect form serving during a match against Avon Park. The seventh grade Panthers dropped the match in two sets.

PHOTOS BY DAVE BREMER

From left: Harley Boden, Callie Cassels and Hollie Altman receive a serve during a recent match against Avon Park. The Lady Panthers lost the match in two sets.

By Dave Bremer

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With the DeSoto Middle School closed for the week because of a mercury spill, the DMS Panthers had to play their game against Avon Park at the high school. “Worse than that,” Coach Mercer said, “is we haven’t been able to practice all week.” Still, when asked what they had improved upon since the beginning of the year, setter Stephanie Whitmore said, “We have gotten better on our serving and passing to the target.”

Both teams started the game trying to simply return the ball over the net, hoping the other team would make a mistake. Trailing 15-12, Coach Mercer had seen enough and called a timeout, telling her team that whether they won or lost, they needed to play the game right and set up the ball for an attack. The Panthers didn’t get many opportunities to set up their attack as Avon Park’s Hailey Collinsworth stepped up and served the last six service points for the Red Devils, giving them a 25-14 victory over the Panthers.

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