MOUNTAIN VIEW – The Lady Wranglers finished out their volleyball season with exciting matchups against Worland, Lyman and Lander at the 3A West regional tournament on Oct. 26 and 27. Mountain View hosted the tournament.
Pinedale’s varsity squad at state included seniors Madison Friend and Teegan Johnson; juniors Savanna Criddle, Anna Harber, Nora Legerski and Maggie Majhanovich; sophomores McKinley Boulter, Riley Dauwen, Grace Davis, Kialee Hansen and Jamie Streit; and freshman Roxanne Rogers.
Pinedale challenged Worland in the first game of the quarterfinals on Friday, Oct. 26. The Lady Wranglers won the first two closely contested sets, 25-22, and 25-20. Worland came back from behind and won the third set, forcing a fourth showdown with the Wranglers. But Pinedale was not about to let Worland advance, and sailed to victory with a comfortable win in the fourth match, 25-11.
Pinedale’s victory over Worland allowed them to advance to the semi-finals on Friday to play the Lyman Eagles. The Eagles are undefeated for the season, and were ranked first in the 3A conference coming into the tournament.
The Eagles continued their winning streak and defeated Pinedale in a clean victory in the first set, 25-14. Pinedale lost the next two sets, but the Wrangler varsity squad put up a strong resistance, leading to very close scores, 25-22, and 25-21, in Lyman’s favor.
Lyman advanced to the finals on Saturday, but Pinedale wasn’t out of the tournament. On Saturday, the Wranglers had one last chance to make it to the state tournament in a game against the Lander Tigers.
Lander scored four points in a row to open the first set. Pinedale got a point when the ball went out on Lander’s side before Lander scored a fifth point. Johnson spiked the ball over the net for Pinedale’s second point. Lander scored two more points until Hansen blocked the third attempt by the Tigers to score.
Lander continued to add points faster than the Wranglers until Majhanovich set up a successful play and Legerski sent the ball sailing over the net to close the gap, 17-14.
Lander, however, scored another four points in a row to increase their lead. Despite a block by Majhanovich, a kill by Legerski and a spike by Streit, Lander won the first match, 25-18.
Lander led the second match, scoring three points in a row. Streit slammed the ball over the net for Pinedale’s first score. Lander dropped in two more points, until Pinedale turned the tables with three points, including a successful block by Hansen. Streit scored another point, bringing the set to 6-5 in Lander’s favor.
Lander then moved into a comfortable lead with seven points in a row. Pinedale tried to put up a defense, including a valiant three-player dive to keep the ball in the air, but Lander finished the second set with a win, 25-11.
The third set was very close – point-to-point through the entire match. Pinedale got the first point when a serve from Lander hit the net. Lander scored once, then the Wranglers gained three points when Lander continued to hit the net and sent the ball out of bounds.
Legerski sent the ball sailing over the net to score point five for Pinedale. Lander and Pinedale each dropped in a few more points until Majhanovich sent the ball up and over the net to bring the score to 8-4. Streit scored the next two points for the Wranglers, putting Pinedale in a comfortable lead, 10-5.
Lander managed to close the gap with seven points, bringing their deficit to within one point of Pinedale’s lead. Hansen tapped the ball over the net to score for Pinedale, followed by two more points scored by Majhanovich and Streit. Sophomore McKinley Boulter scored next, widening Pinedale’s lead.
Lander turned the tables and brought the game to a tie, 22-22. Streit slammed the ball over the net, placing Pinedale in the lead. The Wranglers got another point when Lander hit the ball out of bounds.
Lander then scored two points, but failed to make the third serve, tying the set again, 25-25. The last minute of the set was down to the razor-edge. Finally, Lander scored three in a row, winning the set, 29-27.
Lander will advance to state. But the Lady Wranglers put up an impressive fight in their last games of the season. n