Action-packed weekend for Lady Punchers

Robert Galbreath photo Sophomore Kodee Greene slams over a kill against Star Valley on Tuesday, Oct. 3. Greene received the Sportsmanship Award from officials for the game.

THERMOPOLIS – A busy weekend for the Big Piney High School Lady Puncher volleyball team included a grueling schedule of five games played over the course of five days.

The action opened at the Bobcat Invite hosted by Thermopolis on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 29-30. The tournament primarily pitted Big Piney against non-conference 1A rivals with a rolling schedule on Friday followed by bracket play on Saturday.

Each game on Friday consisted of two sets played to 21 points. In the bracket competition on Saturday, teams vied to win two of three sets, each played to 25 points.

The Lady Punchers squared off against 1A Saratoga for the first game on Friday. Saratoga won the first set, 21-18. Regrouping, Big Piney turned the tables in the second set to triumph over Saratoga, 21-9, resulting in a 1-1 tie.

The subsequent game found Big Piney challenging 1A Burlington on the court. The Lady Punchers put up a fight, particularly in the first set, but ended up falling short, 2-0 (21-18 and 21-12).

Later on Friday, the Lady Punchers took on 2A Northwest Conference opponent Greybull. Big Piney again came up short, 2-0 (21-16 and 21-14).

Advancing to the bronze bracket on Saturday, the Lady Punchers played 1A Encampment in the opening round. Big Piney fell in the first set, 25-14, and despite a solid effort to regain the initiative in a tight second set, again came up short, 25-19.

On Tuesday, Oct. 3, the Lady Punchers’ varsity team hosted a squad from top-ranked 4A school Star Valley in an intense four-set, point-for-point battle at the Puncher Gym.

The first set came down to the wire and set the tone for the remainder of the game, with the result remaining up in the air until Star Valley managed to score 2 points to reach game point, 25-23.

Star Valley won the second set, 25-13.

Refusing to throw in the towel, the Lady Punchers succeeded in turning the situation around in the third set to score a decisive 27-25 victory.

The fourth set initially remained close, although Star Valley ultimately took control of the court later in the set to score game point, 25-12.

Sophomore Kodee Greene earned the Sportsmanship Award on Tuesday from game officials.

The Lady Punchers return to conference play on Thursday, Oct. 5, hosting rival Kemmerer for a chance at redemption from the close game against the Lady Rangers two weeks previously. Game times are 4 p.m. for freshmen, 5 p.m. for junior varsity and 6 p.m. for varsity.