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

By Alex Kuhn
Sports Editor 

Lady Warriors comeback falls short, drop match vs. No. 5 Fillies 3-2


October 18, 2017


Lady Warrior Jaycee Page keeps her focus as she prepares to send the ball back to Cody during Tuesday night's match against the Fillies at Worland High School.

WORLAND - For their final home match of the season, the Worland High School volleyball put on a show in a drama-filled, tightly contested match against the No. 5-ranked Cody Fillies at Worland High School Tuesday night.

Falling behind 0-2 on senior night, the Lady Warriors clawed their way back to force a Game 5, but, unfortunately, fell 16-14 in the fifth and match-deciding game, losing 3-2, (25-18, 25-23, 23-25, 14-25 16-14).

"We had the opportunities to swing and just didn't, we were playing not to lose. I told them in the locker room lets go out swinging, play to win. Our serving stats were good [Tuesday], our serve/receive was good and our effort was way better than it has the past few weeks. We had so many positives, the one weakness we had was we had so many opportunities to swing and didn't in Game 5.

"It's finishing it now, with so many positives we just need to carry it into regionals with our effort, enthusiasm and energy level, but we do need the icing on the cake to finish it," said WHS volleyball coach Brittany Miller.

Even though the Lady Warriors missed out on their opportunities, Miller gave credit to the Fillies who forced Worland into changes.

"Hand it to Cody, they're the No. 1-seed on their side and were super-hot coming in. Games 1 and 2 we struggled defensively, so we switched our defense. That switch affected Jaycee Page and Casey Wassum, but they did it and made a huge difference for us. It gave us a lot more opportunities to swing at the ball," said Miller.

Another switch Miller made was midway through Game 3, trailing 0-2 in the match, Cody began gaining momentum. Looking for a spark she subbed in freshman Darla Hernandez for junior Alex Caballero. Hernandez took full advantage of the moment playing big at the net and picking up some crucial kills.

"The sub with Darla in for Alexa was more of a statistical sub, and Darla went in swinging, which brought a lot of energy and enthusiasm to the team," said Miller.

Worland took a 24-21 lead after a kill by junior Payton McEndree that fired up the Worland faithful. The Fillies scored two more points before an error cost them the game, allowing the Lady Warriors to pick up their first game of the match.

Game 4 was the Lady Warriors best of the match, after trading points early on, Worland went on an 11-1 run to put the game out of reach before taking it 25-14.

After fighting all the way back, the Lady Warriors could not find a way to close out Game 5, eventually losing 16-14 and the match 3-2.

"We can't un-match this effort level against the Torringtons ' and Buffalos' at regionals. The girls set the bar [Tuesday], we haven't seen this effort in a while. We see it in practice but not in matches. They had a tremendous amount of effort; they were having fun and just enthusiastic. We just cannot be afraid to take the big swings. At the very least we can go up ready to hit and even if you have to tip or roll shot, at least be in position to hit," said Miller.

As frustrating as Tuesday night was the Lady Warriors had many positive takeaways from the match. As a team, they played one of their better matches of the season. Along with the strong play from seniors Jaycee Page, Saige Jones and Casey Wassum, they had big contributions from all over the court, with the likes of McEndree, Caitlin Cottrell and the freshman Hernandez and Denali Jones.

Now for the Lady Warriors, it will be about putting it all together in time for the 3A East regional tournament next week. And Saturday's regular-season finale against the No. 2-ranked Douglas Lady Bearcats will be a prime spot to do so.

"We just need to be on, all on the same night. I feel like when the whole team comes together it's going to be awesome," said Miller. "We're going to focus on our side of the net. We have to keep our energy and effort and not be afraid to take big swings. Douglas has some inexperienced middles and if we can stay in-system and get the ball to our middles, we can have a mismatch there."

The Lady Warriors match against the Lady Bearcats will begin at 6 p.m. at Douglas High School.


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