Lady Wranglers’ third-set rally comes up short against Mountain View

Laila Illoway photo Senior Mikayla Drake makes a dig against Mountain View on Sept. 16. Also pictured are sophomore Gabby Rogers, No. 13, senior Sara Kunard, No. 32, and junior Trista Covill, right.

MOUNTAIN VIEW – Conference play is well underway as the Pinedale Lady Wrangler volleyball team vies with Lyman and Mountain View for the number-one spot.

Unseating the Mountain View Lady Buffalos, the 2021 State runner up, and the Lyman Lady Eagles, the defending State champion, is no easy task. Both the Buffalos and Eagles are riding high early in the season, each posting only a single loss.

The Lady Wranglers defeated Lyman at the Rawlins Tournament on Sept. 10. Mountain View, however, continues to pose a challenge.

The Buffalos pulled out all the stops defending their home court against Pinedale on Friday, Sept. 16, winning the first two sets 25-14 and 25-15.

The Lady Wranglers hit the court swinging in the third set, taking the lead for most of the tightly contested match, threatening to push the game into a fourth or even fifth set.

Despite the Lady Wranglers’ impressive comeback in a set that could have gone either way, Mountain View edged ahead by three points, 25-23, to seize the win, 3-0.

Pinedale’s ability to respond to Mountain View’ hits and serves with its own powerful kills and aces demonstrated the Lady Wranglers are still in the game and more than capable of even their toughest opponents as the season progresses.

The Lady Wranglers hosted Lyman on Thursday, Sept. 22. Results were not available at press time.

Regrouping

The Mountain View Buffalos took control right out of the gates in the first set. A kill by senior Haylen Sandner nearly tied the match at five points before Mountain View widened its lead.

Pinedale stepped up defensively as the set progressed, with blocks by Sandner, junior Reagan Davis and sophomores Mae McGuire and Gabby Rogers. Pinedale came up short in its attempt to close the gap and the Buffalos scored game point, 25-14.

During the second set, senior Mikayla Drake aced her serve, tying Mountain View at six points. The Buffalos regained the lead until they hit the ball out returning a kill from Sandner.

Mountain View followed with a seven-point run. Pinedale struggled to close the gap and the Buffalos won the set, 25-15.

The Lady Wranglers answered back in the third set. Mountain View wavered and served the ball out for Pinedale’s first point. Senior McKenzie Illoway reached up and blocked the Buffalos’ next attempt to score.

Mountain View continued to tangle with the net returning a hit by Rogers and a serve from Illoway. Sandner and McGuire met Mountain View’s hits with a set of blocks.

Rogers served up point 10, tying the set. Another serve into the net by Mountain View allowed the Lady Wranglers to pull ahead. Rogers powered over a kill, assisted by Davis.

Senior libero Sara Kunard protected the center with multiple digs.

The Buffalos hit the ball out returning a serve delivered by Sandner. Illoway slammed over a kill off a set by Davis. Junior Trista Covill wound up a powerful kill. Davis set over point 15.

Mountain View caught up to Pinedale and briefly took the lead until Illoway tipped over point 16. Illoway served up three aces, pulling the Lady Wranglers ahead, 20-16. Mountain View hit net returning a hit by Sandner before the Buffalos gradually edged up and overtook Pinedale, 25-22.

On Friday, Sept. 23, Pinedale travels to Lander for its third conference game.

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