PINEDALE – The match between Pinedale and 4A opponent Jackson remained up for grabs late in the fourth set. The Lady Wranglers fought point-for-point to win the first two sets. Jackson rallied and scored a win in the third set.
The Lady Broncs snuck up from behind and tied the fourth set at 18 points, threatening to overtake the Lady Wranglers and force the match into an all-or-nothing fifth set.
Resolved to deny Jackson the chance to pull ahead, the Lady Wranglers scored a sequence of points in what became the final set to score the win, 3-1.
Pinedale demonstrated the same ability to recover from a setback and defeated 1A rival Cokeville on Friday, Oct. 1.
The Lady Panthers are a 1A powerhouse and four-time defending State Champion. Cokeville nearly overtook Pinedale in a tied fourth set.
Once again, the Lady Wranglers delivered crucial points when the chips were down to secure a 3-1 victory over Cokeville.
“I am so proud of the girls this week,” said head Coach Tamara Currah. “We some big wins. We are getting better each game we play and it’s exciting to see the hard work the girls put in paying off.”
Jackson and Pinedale swapped leads early in the first set. Junior Haylen Sandner slammed over a kill to tie the set at point 2. Jackson edged ahead and was promptly answered with a kill by junior McKenzie Illoway.
Junior Toree Andersen served up an ace to place Pinedale in the lead. The Lady Broncs overtook Pinedale before getting tangled in the net.
The Lady Wranglers took control after point 9, maintaining the lead through game point.
Senior Abigail Hawke blocked the ball for point 10. Jackson failed to return a serve delivered by senior Darby Clause. Sandner, Hawke and senior Roxanne Rogers maintained Pinedale’s momentum with a series of hits, assisted by freshman Gabrielle Rogers.
Junior libero Sara Kunard dug deep, sending the ball to Sandner to hit over point 23. Gabrielle Rogers served up point 24 and game point at 25-20.
Jackson opened the second set ahead. Kills by Illoway and Hawke and an ace shot over by Andersen tied the set at 8. Jackson regained the lead. Kunard tied the set at 10 points. Jackson scored the next point, answered by a hit from Roxanne Rogers.
Sandner slammed over a kill to tie the set at 12 points. A pair of aces hit over by Roxanne Rogers pulled Pinedale ahead.
Illoway delivered a kill for point 18 and tapped over point 19, widening Pinedale’s lead.
Jackson returned serves by Clause out of bounds, taking the Lady Wranglers to point 24. Kunard bumped the ball to Gabrielle Rogers, who set it for Roxanne Rogers to fire off game point at 25-20.
The Lady Broncs’ offensive regrouped in the third set, powering over one hit after another.
The Lady Wranglers struck back in the fourth set. Sandner, Illoway and Hawke fired off kills. Kunard aced point 10. Roxanne Rogers shot over a kill assisted by sophomore Reagan Davis for point 11. Kunard scored point 13 with a dig.
Jackson pulled ahead at point 17. The Lady Broncs hit the net returning a serve by Clause, tying the game at 18 points.
Roxanne Rogers hit over three points for Pinedale. Kunard served up an ace and point 23. Roxanne Rogers spiked the ball over the net for match point, 25-21.
Pinedale won a close first set, 26-24. Cokeville took the lead following a block by Sandner. A hit by Illoway tied the set at point 5. Cokeville regained the initiative but was overtaken by a point from Illoway and an ace by Andersen.
Hawke tied the set at point 9 with a block. Roxanne Rogers carried Pinedale ahead with a sequence of kills. Cokeville edged up, overtaking Pinedale at point 17. Kunard scored point 18. A block by Hawke took Pinedale to 19 points. Hawke shot over a kill for point 21.
The Lady Panthers hit the ball out of bounds returning a serve by Clause. A block from Davis tied the set at 24 points. Hawke hit over point 25. Cokeville caught the ball in the net on Clause’s serve for game point.
Cokeville won the second set, 25-20.
Pinedale promptly recovered from the setback and dominated the third set, maintaining the lead until game point at 25-15. Sandner blocked Cokeville’s hit for point 2. Roxanne Rogers delivered a kill for point 3 with Kunard acing point 6. Sandner took her turn serving and fired off an ace for point 11. Hawke played a block for point 15 and a kill for point 16. Rogers hit over three points. Sandner trapped Cokeville in the net with a serve for game point.
Sandner opened the final set with a pair of kills. Cokeville took the lead at point 9. Pinedale overtook Cokeville with a block from senior Maggie Harber and an ace by Sandner. Harber slammed over a kill to tie the set at 16 points. Pinedale took the lead from that point. Sandner delivered match point off a bump from Kunard and set by Davis.
The Lady Wranglers travel to Lovell for the Conference Duels on Oct. 8-9.
“This weekend is important for us,” said coach Currah. “We will play some competitive teams that we will be seeing at Regionals, and hopefully we can come out with some big wins.”