PINEDALE – The Powell Panthers tied the second set of the consolation semifinals at point 13 during the 3A West Regional Volleyball Tournament hosted by Lyman on Oct. 29-30.
Pinedale won the first set, 25-13, but the Lady Panthers fought back in the second set, threatening to eliminate the Lady Wranglers’ chance at making State.
Senior Abigail Hawke slammed over three kills, placing Pinedale ahead. Junior Toree Andersen delivered an ace and a deep dig, widening the Lady Wranglers’ lead.
Sophomore Reagan Davis tipped over point 21. Junior Haylen Sandner fired off a kill for point 22. Senior Roxanne Rogers wound up a kill, scoring point 24 and junior Sara Kunard aced set point, 25-15.
The Lady Wranglers carried the momentum into the third set, holding the lead from the first point to match point, scored by junior McKenzie Illoway, 25-12.
The Lady Wranglers beat Powell, 3-0, and secured a spot at the 3A State Volleyball Tournament.
“The game against Powell was our ‘make it to State or go home’ game,” said head coach Tamara Currah. “The girls played a really great game. We scouted Powell before Conference. The team took the scouting plan and executed it. I’ve never seen the girls play that well – the game showed what kind of a team we are and that we can compete with anyone.”
Conference opened with Pinedale defeating Worland, 3-1, on Friday. The Lady Wranglers advanced to the semifinals to play top-ranked Lyman and fell to the Eagles, 3-0.
Pinedale trounced Powell on Saturday morning for a spot at State to play Lander that afternoon.
The Lady Tigers and Lady Wranglers brought their A-games in the battle to secure the third seed at State.
Four heater sets ended in a 2-2 deadlock. The tie-breaker fifth set remained up in the air until Lander managed to squeeze ahead by two points for the win.
Despite the loss, coach Currah expressed pride in the team’s effort over a rollercoaster weekend.
“I think we grew as a team,” she added. “We peaked at the right time and are ready to be competitive at State.”
Worland won the first set, 25-16.
The Lady Warriors tied the second set at point 8. Hawke delivered a kill followed by an ace from Sandner, allowing Pinedale to regain the lead. Senior Maggie Harber shot over a hit for point 13.
Senior Darby Clause broke the stalemate at point 14 with an ace. Roxanne Rogers hit over point 16 off a dig played by Clause.
Kunard aced point 17. Roxanne Rogers played another hit. Sandner and Illoway both spiked over kills. Sandner aced set point, 25-19.
Pinedale refused to yield in the third and fourth sets. Following a block by Harber, Roxanne Rogers and Sandner scored early kills.
Freshman Gabrielle Rogers served up points 5 and 6. Kills by Harber, Illoway, Sandner and Hawke, assisted by Davis, carried Pinedale past point 14.
Roxanne Rogers hit over points 15 and 16, assisted by Clause and Davis. Sandner took Pinedale to point 20 with a pair of kills.
Roxanne Rogers dug deep and sent the ball to Sandner, who slammed over point 24. Defensive work by Sandner and Harber resulted in set point, 25-12.
The Lady Wranglers maintained the lead through the entire third set. Junior Mikayla Drake entered the fray and delivered an ace. Following two aces by Gabrielle Rogers, Roxanne Rogers scored match point, 25-11.
“The first game was a really important win because it put us on an easier track,” said coach Currah. “The team worked really well together and played a good defense and offense.”
Pinedale kept the Eagles on their feet at the beginning of the first set. A pair of hits shot over by Sandner tied the match at points 5 and 6 before the Eagles pulled ahead to win, 25-20.
The Wranglers remained close on Lyman’s heels in the second set. Lyman hit the ball out of bounds on a serve by Clause. Roxanne Rogers popped over a set of kills, pulling Pinedale into the lead.
The Eagles served into the net. A block from Hawke tied the set again at point 11. The Eagles regained the lead to win the set, 25-17.
Lyman maintained its momentum in the third set. Kills scored by Roxanne Rogers and Illoway tied the match at point 6. Pinedale kept within a few points of its foe when the Eagles failed to return serves from Kunard and Gabrielle Rogers.
Lyman scored match point at 25-17.
“Lyman is a tough team and the girls fought hard,” said Currah. “It was a hard loss.”
The Lady Wranglers also brought their A-game against the Lady Panthers. The first set began with three kills by Hawke and an ace by Andersen. Roxanne Rogers shot over a sequence of hits, assisted by Davis.
Sandner aced point 16. Hawke tipped over point 17. Andersen aced points 19 and 20. Roxanne Rogers and Sandner each slammed over a kill. Gabrielle Rogers served set point, 25-13.
Kills by Illoway gave the Lady Wranglers an early lead in the second set. Powell tied the game several times before Pinedale passed the Panthers at point 14 and never looked back. Kunard aced set point, 25-15.
The Lady Wranglers dominated the third set with multiple kills from Illoway, Hawke, Roxanne Rogers and Sandner. Sandner and Hawke both made a block. Gabrielle Rogers tipped over a point and Clause scored an ace. Illoway scored match point, 25-12.
Pinedale and Lander fought tooth and nail through four heater sets.
The Lady Wranglers won the first set, 25-17. Pinedale took the initiative at point 11 with an ace by Clause. Kunard aced point 15. Roxanne Rogers scored a kill for point 16 and Gabrielle Rogers served up an ace for point 17.
Sandner played a block for point 19. Roxanne Rogers followed up with a pair of aces. Illoway smashed over a kill for point 23 and Andersen aced set point, 25-17.
The Lady Tigers won the second set, 25-22.
Pinedale responded in the third set. Roxanne Rogers tied the match at point 7 with an ace. Illoway and Hawke scored a series of kills, pulling Pinedale into the lead. Clause hit over point 17. Lander edged up until Hawke broke the stalemate with a block at point 24.
Illoway tipped over set point, 25-23, assisted by Gabrielle Rogers.
Lander triumphed in the fourth set, 25-22.
Pinedale scored first in the tie-breaker with an ace from Clause. Lander regained the lead. Gabrielle Rogers sent over an ace, followed by kills from Roxanne Rogers, Sandner and Hawke.
Roxanne Rogers tied the set at point 10. Lander pushed ahead before serving the ball into the net. A kill by Rogers tied the match at point 12. Lander managed to score match point, 15-13.
“The girls brought early momentum in from the game against Powell,” said Currah. “Our middles did a good job with blocks. To take Lander to five sets is great.”