PINEDALE – A rollercoaster ride of a weekend opened for the Pinedale High School Lady Wrangler volleyball team with its final home conference game against the Lander Lady Tigers on Friday, Oct. 21.
Lander won the first set with a 4-point lead. Pinedale rallied in the second set and trounced the Lady Tigers. Lander managed to win the third set by a razor-thin margin.
The Lady Tigers pulled ahead in the fourth set for the win and a 3-1 overall victory.
Pinedale made Lander fight for every point, and the Lady Wranglers’ resolve demonstrated that the team is prepared for the Regional Tournament and capable of inflicting damage on its opponents.
And on Saturday, Oct. 22, the Lady Wranglers capped off the regular season with a resounding 3-0 clean sweep against Big Piney.
Pinedale moved into the lead early in the first set. Junior Trista Covill delivered a kill and senior Sara Kunard served up 2 points. Covill and sophomore Mae McGuire both powered hits over the net. Kunard made a dig and Illoway tipped the ball over.
McGuire scored with a kill. Senior McKenzie Illoway aced her serve.
The Lady Tigers tied the set at 9 points and edged ahead. Pinedale closed the gap with spikes by senior Haylen Sandner, junior Ana Mika and Covill and coverage by Kunard and senior Mikayla Drake.
The lead switched back and forth. A pair of kills by Covill kept Pinedale in the lead until Lander seized the initiative at 16 points and scored game point, 25-21.
Pinedale stormed the court in the second set. Saves by Drake and Kunard resulted in a point. Covill reached up for a block and senior Toree Andersen served 2 points. Covill slammed over a kill and Kunard aced a pair of serves.
Covill scored another kill. McGuire and Illoway defended the net. Covill tipped over a point and McGuire made a kill, stretching Pinedale’s lead to 7 points.
Covill made a kill and Illoway blocked Lander’s attempt to score. Illoway aced a serve. Sandner scored a kill and tipped a pair of points, placing Pinedale ahead, 19-10.
Covill pulled out another kill and Kunard aced two serves. Illoway powered up a kill. Kunard made a dig, passing the ball to Davis. Davis set the ball up for McGuire to deliver game point, 25-15.
Pinedale maintained the lead through most of the third set. McGuire set over a point and Mika spiked the ball. Sandner tipped the ball and Drake aced her serve. Sandner made a kill, followed by a second ace from Drake.
Mika and Covill scored kills and Illoway tipped the ball. Davis set the ball across the net. Lander tangled with the net returning a serve by Mika.
Mika and Sandner both spiked points, pulling Pinedale ahead, 15-9.
Sandner tipped the ball and Drake whipped up an ace. Mika scored with a tip and Covill slammed over a kill.
Lander struck out responding to hits by Andersen and Covill. Mika scored a kill before Lander finally caught up at 23 points.
The Lady Tigers pulled out game point, 25-23.
Lander held the lead for most of the fourth set, scoring game point, 25-16.
Pinedale set the momentum in the first set. Mika and Sandner both powered over kills. Big Piney overshot its response to a serve by Drake. Sophomore Gabby Rogers powered over a hit.
Andersen served a point and Covill spiked the ball, following saves by Andersen and Kunard. Covill bumped the ball into Big Piney territory and the Lady Punchers met net returning a serve by Andersen.
Covill slammed over a kill and Andersen aced a serve. Covill made a block and a kill.
Davis stepped up to the service line and scored 4 points. Illoway struck with a kill and Covill defended the net.
Davis aced two more serves, including game point, 25-5.
Pinedale applied the pressure in the second set. McGuire scored first with a kill. Sandner made a hit and Illoway served a point.
Sandner spiked over three points, followed by kills from Mika and Covill. Andersen aced a serve and Sandner and Covill both scored kills.
Andersen aced another serve. Sandner powered up a kill and Davis set the ball over the net.
Big Piney scored several points before Illoway responded with a kill. Rogers and Illoway served points and Sandner made a block. Sandner tipped over game point, 25-10, assisted by Davis.
Big Piney briefly tied the third set before Andersen served an ace. Covill and Sandner kept the heat on with a series of hits. Illoway tipped the ball. Kunard aced a serve.
Covill slammed over three kills. Kunard went on a 5-point run at the service line. Covill scored a kill and Kunard served up another point.
Illoway powered up a kill, assisted by junior Kemmer Clause. McGuire tipped the ball and made a kill. Big Piney hit the net returning a serve by Rogers.
Mika delivered a kill, assisted by Clause, for game point, 25-10.
The Lady Wranglers travel to Lovell for the 3A Regional Volleyball Tournament on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 28-29. Pinedale’s first game is against Powell at 10 a.m. on Friday.