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By Karla Pomeroy
Editor 

Lady Warriors team effort had eventual champions on the 'ropes'

WORLAND - Most players have one or two "star" athletes but for the Worland Lady Warriors the 2017 season has been a team effort, win or lose.

 

November 7, 2017

Dimitrios Dowse/Douglas Budget

WORLAND - Most players have one or two "star" athletes but for the Worland Lady Warriors the 2017 season has been a team effort, win or lose.

Coach Brittany Miller said the team played great as a whole unit during the 3A State Volleyball Tournament last weekend, going 1-2 and ending their post season run early Saturday morning.

The Lady Warriors opened the state tournament as the No. 3 seed from the East, defeating Star Valley (No. 2-seed from the West) 3-0 (25-23, 25-19, 25-17). They then faced eventual champion Douglas and fell in a hard-fought contest 3-2 (14-25, 25-16, 26-24, 15-25, 7-15). After exhausting energy and emotion during the game Friday night it was tough for the girls to bounce back Saturday morning in a game against Lyman. Worland fell 3-0 (18-25, 18-25, 12-25).

Miller said, "Overall it was a great weekend because the girls had some obstacles in their way. I really felt that they rose above them to give their best performances." The obstacles include a flu bug that began going around, along with some family issues for a few of the players, Miller said.

"We had the state championship team on the ropes in the semifinals with opportunities to take them out of that championship game, so overall just really, really pleased with their performance," Miller said.

She added, "When all is said and done, to take Douglas to five and almost dethrone the state champions. We were right there ... a momentum away ... our girls left it all on the court Friday night."

Miller said Douglas has two all-stat players on the team who are tough and talented with the ability to take over an entire game. "Our girls to compete against that have to play as a whole unit and stick to a game plan and our girls did that to take them to a game five. And, in that game five Hoopman, their outside hitter ran away with it, but she also did that in the state championship game against Rawlins."

After the match Friday night, Miller said she told the Douglas coach if they were going to beat Worland they better win the whole thing. The Lady Bearcats did just that, defeating Rawlins 3-2 (25-22, 25-21, 19-25, 21-25, 15-8).

Miller said, "I was very proud of girls. With our team this year it really takes everyone on the court contributing. We have to rely on the whole team. I just really felt everyone showed up and did everything they could."

Saturday morning, Worland faced Lyman at 9 a.m. The Lady Eagles had defeated Torrington Friday afternoon to advance to play on Saturday.

"It's hard to bounce emotionally and physically," Miller said, adding that Lyman has three all-state hitters and are "very talented." "I kind of feel Lyman got upset at regionals to come in the seed they did (No. 3 West), because they are very tough and talented team."

LOOKING BACK

Looking back over the 2017 season, Miller said it has been an enjoyable year as this year's team is "one of the kindest teams" she has ever coached. She said the team stayed together after they were done playing.

"Our seniors looked straight in the eyes of all those girls returning saying 'you will win a state championship. We believe that much in you. It was so cool to see the cohesiveness of this team," Miller said.

She said after losing seven seniors to last year's team, many people overlooked Worland and didn't have a lot of expectations for them.

"We had to redefine ourselves. These girls made a commitment to get better every day. To see them on Saturday as one of the last six teams standing in the 3A Conference, a lot of people wouldn't have put them there. They always believed in something bigger than themselves, so a great season."

HONORS

Two Lady Warriors earned Class 3A All-State honors - Saige Jones and Casey Wassum, also earning 3A East All-Conference honors. Fellow senior Jaycee Page earned honorable mention all-conference honors, Miller reported Monday.

"All three are so deserving of the honors. They did such an incredible job leading this team that had no varsity experience. For them to end the season to tell that group that they can be state champions just speaks volume of their character," Miller said.

As for the non-seniors on the team, Miller said the team was already talking about what they need to work on for next season.

"None of us are burnt out. We just want to keep going. We see so much potential. The future is so bright."

In closing Miller said the coaches, Miller, Taylor Willard and Katherine Stuckey, were "extremely proud" of the players this year. "When went the distance. They have so much class and character."

 
 

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