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

By Alex Kuhn
Sports Editor 

2A/1A West regional volleyball tournament preview


October 28, 2016


Meeteetse's Bryce Salzman looks in a set during a match against Ten Sleep on Oct. 15. Meeteetse lost to Ten Sleep 3-0.

LANDER - The 2A/1A West regional tournament begins play today in Lander and for three Big Horn Basin teams, Greybull, Burlington and Meeteetse, two victories will secure a bid for the state tournament and extend their season one more week.

Greybull Lady Buffalos (2A)

Record: 18-6, 7-1 and No. 1-seed out of the Northwest conference

Last 5 matches: 4-1

Opening against the Wyoming Indian Lady Chiefs at 11:30 a.m. in the Lander Valley High School Field House, Greybull enters the tournament as the No. 1 seed out of the Northwest conference. The team earned their seeding by going 7-1 during conference play and is 18-6 on the year.

Their lone conference loss was on Oct. 8 to the Lovell Lady Bulldogs, 3-2 25-21, 27-25, 23-25, 20-25, 15-7.

Since their loss to Lovell, Greybull has won three straight, only dropping one game during that span. The Lady Buffs are also the WyoPreps No. 2 ranked 2A volleyball team in the state and a favorite to claim the regional championship.

With the exception of two teams, Big Piney and Wyoming Indian, the Lady Buffs have defeated each team in the tournament field. Big Piney beat Greybull 2-1 during an early season tournament and today's matchup against Wyoming Indian will be the first of the season.

Burlington Lady Huskies (1A)

Record: 10-14, 5-3 and the No. 3 seed out of the Northwest conference

Last 5 matches: 3-2

The Lady Huskies were tied for second along with Meeteetse in the Northwest conference, but having lost both regular season contests to the Lady Longhorns, it put them at a disadvantage in the tiebreaker and dropping them to third.

Burlington went 3-2 in the regular season's final five games. One of their three victories was a big 3-1, 25-23, 25-19, 17-25, 25-22 win against conference leader Dubois but their two losses during that stretch were to rival Meeteetse.

As the No. 3 seed from the Northwest, Burlington will begin their regional tournament against the No. 2 seed from the Southwest conference, the Farson-Eden Lady Pronghorns.

At 17-6 on the season Farson-Eden is WyoPreps No. 2 ranked 1A volleyball team. This will be the first matchup of the 2016 regular season between the two schools.

The match will being at 2:30 p.m. in the Lander Valley High School Field House.

Meeteetse Lady Longhorns (1A)

Record: 8-15, 5-3 and the No. 2 seed out of the Northwest conference

Last 5 matches: 3-2

The season may have started rocky for the young Lady Longhorns team, who are absent of seniors and start two freshman, two sophomores and two juniors. A strong finish to the regular season earned them second place in the conference and the No. 2-seed out of the Northwest conference.

"We are young this year but have improved by leaps and bounds and it is so much fun knowing I will not be losing anyone going into next year," said MHS volleyball coach Kelsey Scolari. "With a young team comes inconsistency at times, but the girls have been working hard and are putting everything together very nicely in preparation for regionals."

"Junior and only returning starter Mati May, along with sophomore Devon Curtis, have led our team statistically this season being kill leaders, block leaders and our better passers. It is nice at the 1A level to have kids that you can depend on to play all the way around.  I look forward to seeing what these girls will do at regionals," said coach Scolari.

Securing the No. 2 seed, Meeteetse defeated Burlington twice in an eight-day span. In the first match on Oct. 14 the Lady Longhorns won 3-2, 27-29, 22-25, 25-22, 25-22, 15-13. Then on Oct. 22, a match that would decide the No. 2 seed for the regional tournament, they won again 3-1, 25-17, 25-16, 17-25, 25-15.

The first regional match for Meeteetse will be against Snake River, who is also the WyoPreps No. 4 ranked 1A volleyball team, at 1 p.m. in the Lander Valley High School Auxiliary gym.

"Against Little Snake, or any opponent this weekend, the key is going to be consistency. We cannot get down or stuck in rotations, and we need to play as a team. Communication and intensity are what we need. We possess the ability, we just need to put it all together," said coach Scolari.

"To get a state tournament bid, we need to turn defense into offense," said Scolari when asked what it will take for her team to get to the state tournament. "We want to get more hits and make it tough for the other team to return anything we send them offensively. We are going back to basics, serves over and in, good passing and great offensive setups with big hits."

Preparing her young team for the postseason coach Scolari spoke on the team's approach leading up to today. "My postseason message to the girls is that nothing will be handed to us. We will need to earn it through hard work and intensity. We will make our own luck this weekend; nothing is guaranteed for anyone," said coach Scolari.


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