Northern Wyoming Daily News - Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

By Alex Kuhn
Sports Editor 

Lady Bobcats prepare for home tournament


September 13, 2017

THERMOPOLIS - After spending the first couple weeks on the road the Hot Spring County High School volleyball team will play in front of their home crowd for the first time in 2017 this weekend.

The Lady Bobcats will host the Bobcat Invitational on Friday and Saturday at Hot Spring County High School. Joining Thermopolis for the Invitational will be 3A Wheatland, 3A Torrington, 2A Rocky Mountain, 2A Greybull, 2A Riverside, 2A Shoshoni, 2A Wind River, 2A Wyoming Indian, 2A Big Piney, 2A Kemmerer, 1A Arvada-Clearmont, 1A Meeteetse, 1A Little Snake River and 1A Farson-Eden.

And with the home crowd cheering them on the Lady 'Cats will look to build positive momentum this weekend before they begin their conference schedule next week.

"The crowd plays a huge role and when the girls know they have their fans behind them it helps give them a boost. Last weekend we had some girls that were sick and just being home and having mom and dad help take care of you helps as well," said HSCHS volleyball coach Shannon Hill.

Last week the Lady 'Cats were at the Rawlins Invite and after some struggles Friday closed out Saturday on a higher note.

"Saturday was definitely an improvement for us. We couldn't get in a flow Friday and we tried some new rotations with one of our seniors being gone. It was definitely trial and error for us over the weekend," said Hill.

On Saturday Thermopolis lost to Buffalo 2-0 (21-9, 21-13) but bounced back to beat Lander 2-1 (21-10, 17-21, 15-13) and the Rawlins JV 2-1 (20-22, 21-10, 15-11).

Tweaking the rotation allowed for some Lady 'Cat players the opportunity to play multiple positions on the court, giving them more confidence as they found other ways to help the team succeed.

"We had a really good talk about how each member of our team plays a huge role and it's important that when one isn't there someone steps up in that role. It's really up to each girl to step up and know the role they're stepping into and play it to the best of their abilities," said Hill.

"They did a good job Saturday and I threw a huge wrench into our rotation, then went back and made some smaller switches and that seemed to click. We played really well the second part of Saturday," said Hill, "The girls handled the changes very well and it gave them confidence that they could play other positions and could contribute in different areas on the court."

The Lady 'Cats were able to cut down on their unforced errors that hurt them in the Border Wars in the previous week, but Hill still wants to see her team improve on the offensive end.

"We did improve in serving errors but our offense still needs improvement. That was a big piece to our struggles Friday. We'd pass and set well but our hitters were struggling. That's a huge piece for us now," said Hill.

Working on the offense will be part of the focus this week in practice as they gear up for the Bobcat Invitational.

"One of our main focuses will be hitting around the block. Then we need to be better about hitting our angles. And for our younger teams it's about the flow of them game and transitioning on and off the net and from base to defense. We're all a big work in progress right now," said Hill.


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