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

By Alex Kuhn
Sports Editor 

Lady Bobcats working on putting all the pieces together


October 3, 2017


Lady Bobcat Mary Ryan jumps to block a Lady Outlaw hit during a match against Rawlins Saturday afternoon at Hot Springs County High School.

THERMOPOLIS - The mission for the Hot Springs County High School volleyball team Saturday was to improve after a tough showing against Worland earlier in the week.

Ultimately, the Lady Bobcats did show improvement, unfortunately, it would not be enough as they went down to the Rawlins Lady Outlaws 3-0, (25-18, 25-8, 25-15).

"That first game I told them this is how good they could be when it comes together. That second game we lost that one point and it turned on us and we could never gain it back. I felt like we looked much better than we did against Worland. There are a few more things for us to work on still and the good thing is we're not at our peak," said HSCHS volleyball coach Shannon Hill.

The Lady Bobcats played right with the No. 1-ranked Lady Outlaws in the first game, coming within two points of taking the lead midway through at 17-15. Errors and missed opportunities eventually cost them the game as Rawlins used an 8-3 run to close it out.

Things were looking promising for the Lady 'Cats heading into Game 2, but after an early error cost them a point, the team had a hard time finding their footing. To which the Lady Outlaws took full advantage of, going on a 12-0 run to take command of the game.

Game 3 the Lady 'Cats started strong with a 4-1 lead, but again the Lady Outlaws took advantage of the miscues by Thermopolis, going on another long run to take an 11-4 lead.

In Game 1 especially, Hill liked the hard swings by her players in the match. There were just too many stretches where the length of the Lady Outlaws got in their heads.

"I think we can swing a bit more but we were still making plays even with the Rawlins blockers around the net. They were tipping around those blockers and if we can get a few more swings in there that's going to help us a lot. Our big thing now is not being timid and knowing we can go up and swing, and swing from the back row as well," said Hill.

Having the aggressive mindset on offense will lead to more consistent play for the Lady 'Cats, as they showed flashes of their true potential against Rawlins Saturday.

"We played one game fantastic, but we just don't have the consistency right now to string those three or four games together. We have to be able to string those games together against good teams like Rawlins," said Hill.

While the Lady 'Cats still lost to Worland and Rawlins last week, the turnaround from the Worland match, in which nothing went right, to the Rawlins game, having their moments, was encouraging for Hill. It shows that her team can compete, it's just about putting it altogether and playing a complete match.

"We have nothing to lose at this point and that's what I tell them all the time. We have the athletes to do it, we have the pieces, we just need to play every point. Like I told them against Worland we don't get to have down games, you have to feel those moments, like against Rawlins in the first game, and be able to play aggressive and take strong swings," said Hill.

This week's practice for Thermopolis will focus on continuing to build confidence and working on their consistency as they prepare for 3A East – West division rival Buffalo and non-division opponent Newcastle.

"We played [Buffalo] at the Rawlins tournament and we know they have big hitters, but if we can throw them off their offense that will be the biggest thing for us. Obviously, with any of these teams you can rattle them a bit and make their defense move it's going to cause their hitters to not run what they want to. That will be the focus in practice is keeping that confidence and working on our consistency," said Hill.

The Lady 'Cats host the Lady Bison on Friday at 5 p.m., then Saturday travel to Newcastle to face the Lady Dogies for a 2 p.m. match.


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