Lady Wrangler volleyball slams over the wins
Pinedale, 4-1, at Riverton Tournament
RIVERTON – The Sheridan High School Lady Broncs came within a single point of overtaking the Pinedale High School Lady Wranglers in the tie-breaking third set of the final game at the Riverton Tournament.
Sheridan stepped up to serve, hoping to match Pinedale in scoring and take control of the court to win the set and the game.
The Lady Broncs delivered a powerful serve. Pinedale senior libero Sara Kunard closed the opening and bumped the ball to junior Reagan Davis. Davis set the ball and senior Haylen Sandner moved in for the kill, slamming over game point.
The Lady Wranglers’ 2-1 defeat over 4A Sheridan proved Pinedale volleyball is back in action and determined to pull out the wins. Pinedale tallied up the successes at the two-day tournament on Aug. 26-27, winning four of five games.
The Lady Wranglers faced off against schools in each classification. Opponents competed to win the best of three sets with the first two sets played to 21 points and the third ending at 15 points.
Following a 2-0 loss to 4A Cody in the first game on Friday, the Lady Wranglers regrouped to score a decisive 2-0 victory against 3A West Conference rival Powell.
On Saturday, the Lady Wranglers trounced 1A Saratoga, 2-0, before beating 2A Shoshoni, 2-0, and topping the weekend off with the 2-1 victory against Sheridan.
“The Lady Wranglers started the season out with a bang,” said Head Coach Tamara Currah. “I’m super proud of all the teams (junior varsity and varsity). The girls have put in a lot of time this summer attending camps. After nine days of long practices, they finally got to play volleyball.”
Cody proved a tough adversary, winning the first set, 21-12, and pulling out a 21-13 victory in the second set.
Rallying from the loss, the Lady Wranglers hit the court against the Powell Panthers.
Pinedale surged ahead in the first set. Kunard slammed over a kill. Sophomore Gabby Rogers served up three aces. Junior Trista Covill scored a hit and Rogers aced another serve. Sandner kept the momentum going with a kill. Senior Toree Andersen whipped up an ace.
Powell snuck up and tied the set at 14 points. Pinedale broke the tie and moved back into the lead with hits by Covill and senior McKenzie Illoway. The Panthers hit the ball into the net returning a serve from Andersen. Sandner shot over game point, 21-19.
Kunard set the pace in the second set, scoring a pair of aces. Andersen served two points followed by a kill from Sandner. Davis powered over an ace and Sandner another kill.
Powell tangled with the net returning a serve by senior Mikayla Drake. Covill smashed over a hit and Powell got caught in the net on the return, falling to Pinedale, 21-11.
“Cody is a really good 4A school and we were a little nervous,” said Coach Currah. “I was really impressed with how we played against Powell. We served really hard and Powell had a hard time passing the ball. We were able to set up our offense and we had a great defense.”
Carrying their momentum from Powell over to the second day, the Lady Wranglers crushed Saratoga. Pinedale overwhelmed their opponent in both sets, 21-10 and 21-4, respectively.
Shoshoni made Pinedale fight for points in the first set, though the Lady Wranglers scored decisive points at the end for a 21-18 win.
Refusing to allow Shoshoni to gain the upper hand in the second set, Pinedale closed ranks and overpowered their opponent, 21-12.
“Day two of the invite was a great success,” said Currah. “We changed our offense up a little bit and had many opportunities to work on a faster offense.”
Pinedale established the lead early in the first set with points from Sandner and Kunard. Covill tapped over a point followed by a kill from Illoway.
The Lady Wranglers moved up on the scoreboard with kills by Rogers, Sandner and Illoway. Sheridan served into the net and Pinedale scored game point at 21-17.
Pinedale carried the lead through most of the second set. Illoway served up an ace. Sandner tipped over a point and Davis scored with a set. Freshman Alyxis White powered over a pair of aces.
Sandner, Covill and Rogers hammered away on offense and Illoway aced two serves. Sheridan edged up and matched Pinedale at 19 points and scored two more to win the set, 21-19 and tying the game, 1-1.
Sheridan hit the court swinging in the third set, establishing an early 5-1 lead. Pinedale replied with a kill from Sandner and block by Covill.
Sheridan hit the ball out on a serve powered over by Sandner. Davis scored point 6 with a set and Sheridan caught net on a second serve from Sandner. Covill slammed over a kill, pulling Pinedale ahead.
Kunard bumped the ball into an opening in Sheridan’s defense. Illoway served up two more aces. Sandner scored game point, 15-13, assisted by Kunard and Davis.
“Sheridan had talent and they were a decent 4A school,” said Currah. “I was proud that the girls came out swinging hard and playing amazing defense. We saw a lot of big hits from Sheridan, but we were able to pick up their hits and tips.”
Playing the third set taught the Lady Wranglers “mental toughness,” Currah continued.
“I am proud of the way the girls fought hard from behind to pull out the win at the end. We will remember this game as we go through the season.”
Pinedale competes at the Border Wars at Evanston on Sept. 2-3, squaring off against teams from Utah.
“Hopefully Wyoming will pull out the wins,” said Currah.