The Lady Wranglers have every reason to be
proud of their performance at the 3A West Regional Tournament
hosted by Lander, Nov. 1 and Nov. 2. For the first time
since Pinedale’s volleyball program received 3A designation
in 2005, the team made it to the championship round after defeating
Lander. The team also secured its spot at the 3A State
Tournament in Casper for the first time since 2011.
The championship match pitted Pinedale against Worland
and was no ordinary volleyball game. The gym buzzed with
excitement as two of the top teams in the state went headto-
head in an intense battle that went into five sets. The lead
bounced back and forth and the Lady Wranglers fought hard
for every one of the 105 points they put on the scoreboard
Worland won the championship on paper by a few points
in the fifth set. The game could have gone either way. Each
member of Pinedale’s varsity squad possessed the talent,
teamwork, determination, passion and grit to win. Worland
happened to have the ball in the right place at the right time
to make the extra points.
The games against Lander and Worland also represented
the Lady Wranglers’ unmatched endurance this season and
ability to dig deep and recover from a setback. After losing
the first two sets to Lander and Worland, Pinedale overtook
their opponents in the third match, won a fourth match and
forced the game into a tiebreaker.
Understandably, there was a lot of emotion as the dust settled
after the championship round and the teams congratulated
each other. The Lady Wranglers wiped back a few tears, and
minutes after finishing the exhausting match, they bounced
back to celebrate the fact that they played one heck of a game.
“I think it was really awesome how we came back after
losing the first two sets and we almost won the fifth,” said
senior Maggie Majhanovich. “I think we really played as a
team. We’re still going to go into State strong.”
“I could tell when we started taking our game back that we
became the new Pinedale team,” said junior Jamie Streit. “We
were no longer that old Pinedale team that had the rep of just
giving up and rolling over. We became the new Pinedale team
and that is what took us to State.”
“I think we still have a great week ahead of us,” said sophomore
Roxanne Rogers. “This was a tough game, but we’re
going to go to State knowing what we’re capable of, and
we’re going to bring it to them.”
Head Coach Tamara Currah said that the team deserved to
celebrate as the Regional Tournament ended.
“I’m very proud of them,” she said. “They’ve accomplished
what their goal was: to make it to State. Yes, first
place would have been great. But you can’t walk away from
a game like Worland feeling down. I feel like they’re going
to do great stuff at State. I’m proud of them for coming back
from losing two (sets) and doing it two games in a row. That’s
huge. It’s huge!”
By Robert Galbreath
Regionals opened on Friday afternoon with the quarterfinal
matches. As the number one seed going into the tournament,
Pinedale played number-four seed Lovell. The Lady Wranglers
swept their competition and won all three sets, 25-15,
25-9 and 25-11.
Advancing to the semifinals, Pinedale hit the court against
Lander, a tougher opponent. Each set was a nail-biter, with
the lead going back and forth and all but one set tied up at
Pinedale fell in the first two sets, 31-29 and 28-26. Then
the team did what they do best. They rose up from defeat and
pulled off a 25-23 win in the third set. The match went into a
fourth set. After tying the set up at 25 points, the Lady Wranglers
pulled ahead to win, 27-25.
With the championship round and State at stake, Pinedale
and Lander faced off in a fifth set to break the tie. The Lady
Wranglers unleashed all their energy and took down Lander,
15-9, to clinch a spot at State and make history.
On Saturday afternoon, Pinedale advanced to the championship
round against Worland. The first two matches, like
those against Lander, were dead even until Worland pulled
ahead for the wins, 25-21 and 25-23. Once again, the Lady
Wranglers refused to concede the court. They crushed Worland
in the third set, 25-16, forcing the match into a fourth set.
Worland seemed to falter as Pinedale pulled out all the stops
and won the fourth match by nearly twice the points, 25-13.
The game entered a fifth set.
Both teams hit the court reenergized with the regional title
in sight. Pinedale started the set ahead, but Worland caught
up and tied the set. The stalemate was finally broken when
Worland shot in the final points to win the set, 15-11.
As this paper goes to press, the Lady Wranglers will make
history as they enter the Wyoming State Volleyball Tournament
as a 3A school for the first time. Pinedale plays Torrington
at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 7. All events are
hosted at the Casper Events Center.