WENATCHEE — For the first time in nine years, the Wenatchee Panthers are Big 9 regular season champs in volleyball.

Wenatchee (10-1) secured the district title Thursday night after sweeping the Davis Pirates 25-10, 25-6, 25-19 at Wenatchee High School.

“For the girls, it’s a really big deal,” head coach Marni McMahon said after the win. “This is the first goal we set in August, so they can check that off the list. The girls worked really hard to earn that banner tonight and put something up on the wall.”

The Panthers jumped out to a big lead in each set and controlled the serve-receive game throughout the night. Davis was only able to hold serve twice in the first two sets and struggled with their returns as Ava Jo Berry, Kierra Demirjian and Elise Baier combined for 11 aces.

Wenatchee led 20-6 in the first set after a nine-point run and marched out to a 13-1 lead in the second set, putting the Pirates away with relative ease in both sets to grab the advantage. The Panthers were up 16-4 in the third set until McMahon switched up the lineup to have a little fun. Davis made a comeback and cut the lead to six before Wenatchee closed out the set to win the match.

“We mixed some things up, which doesn’t always work because the chemistry isn’t there,” McMahon said. “But it was fun to try some things even though it cost us some points. Everyone got a few touches.”

After the game, the Panthers handed out district champion t-shirts and posed for team pictures on the floor. Wenatchee, the No. 6 ranked team in 4A, has two games left before the playoffs begin.

Over the next week, McMahon is just hoping to see some consistency and discipline.

“We just need to have the mentality of continuing to get better,” she said. “We can’t be satisfied with where we’re at because I think we are capable of a lot more. We just have to play to our level and play our game.”

The Panthers hit the court next Tuesday at Moses Lake before wrapping up their regular season next Thursday against Sunnyside for Senior Night. First serve for both is at 7 p.m.

Sports Reporter

Zach Johnson is a 28-year-old sportswriter from Lakewood, Colorado. When he's not covering local sporting events you can find him carding birdies at many of the state's public golf courses, biking the Apple Capital Loop Trail, or skiing Mission Ridge.

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