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

By Alex Kuhn
Sports Editor 

Team work makes the dream work

Lady Pioneers come together to beat Arvada-Clearmont 3-0

 

September 26, 2017

DAILY NEWS/ Alex Kuhn

Lady Pioneer Andrea Smith celebrates with her teammates after their 3-0 victory over Arvada-Clearmont Saturday night at Ten Sleep High School.

TEN SLEEP - With six underclassmen and only two upperclassmen the 2017 volleyball season has been about growing together on the court for the Ten Sleep Lady Pioneers, and Saturday it all came together for the young squad.

Combining their volleyball skill with teamwork and communication the Lady Pioneers were able to weather adversity and take down the Arvada-Clearmont Lady Panthers 3-0, (25-18, 26-24, 25-19) at Ten Sleep High School.

"That was fun, that's the team I knew was in them. That's what I was talking about with them earlier [last] week, when we communicate it makes us that much better. It didn't matter who was out there they played together and stayed together when things got tough and won because of it," said TSHS volleyball coach Desiree Egger.

Along with fighting off strong comebacks by the Lady Panthers, the Lady Pioneers also had to dig deep when junior, and one of the team leaders, Charity Starr left due to injury.

"They know that and there's always going to be those bad moments in a game. Overall, we made better decisions getting the ball over and making it playable. I'm just really proud of them," said Egger.

Starr went down in the early goings of Game 2. The Lady Pioneers started on a 10-0 run, but the Lady Panthers responded with an 8-5 run, during which Starr was injured. Sophomore Andrea Smith replaced Starr but it took time for Ten Sleep to regain their footing.

In the meantime Arvada made their move, cutting the Lady Pioneer lead to 2 at 18-16, and eventually tying the game up at 22-22. The stretch would prove to be the most critical of the entire match for the Lady Pioneers.

Gaining a point and leading 23-22, Egger called a timeout and in the huddle told her team if they keep working together they will close out this game. The Lady Pioneers did just that as they communicated, made strong passes and went on a 3-2 spurt, winning 26-24, to up go 2-0 in the match.

"I think that early in the third game was kind of the same way. Arvada was on a run but the girls kept it together. If they would have fallen halfway through that second game, I'm not sure we would have won that match. It was a definitely a huge moment for us in the match," said Egger.

Game Three had its tense moments, but once Ten Sleep smelt blood in the water they finished off the Lady Panthers. With an energetic home crowd behind them the Lady Pioneers used a 4-1 run to close out Game 3, 25-18, taking the match at 3-0.

During that 4-1 run senior Tiffany Senn came off the bench and converted on two critical kills that kept the momentum going for the Lady Pioneers. With contributions from Senn and Smith off the bench, Egger was proud of her two reserve players for stepping up during those high-pressure situations.

"We don't have depth and as a team we struggle with our serving. Andrea got three serves over the net and she did it in pressure-filled situations. It's just a testament to what kind of kids they are. Tiffany made some big plays for us at the net that kept the momentum for us. The girls do believe in each other and I think that's how we were able to get this win," said Egger.

Sophomore Bryley Moore was the best player on the court and with her teammates, Payton Casteel, Haylee Giudice, Elizabeth Lungren, Anna Waston, Smith, Starr and Stenn, the Lady Pioneers came together as a unit to pick up an huge win, while also having fun doing it.

"They're good kids and we've been working to have them come together. Bryley picked it up even more and was great. Payton stepped up big today and Anna kept her cool all match. Sometimes her anxiety runs a bit high but she kept it under control and did an excellent job," said Egger.

Saturday's match could be a turning point in the season for the Lady Pioneers. The team has seven matches remaining in their season, four of which will be against 1A Northwest opponents. They have one game against Burlington, Dubois and St. Stephens remaining, but two more against Meeteetse.

Ten Sleep has already beaten St. Stephens once and if they can sweep St. Stephens and Meeteetse, they can check off a season goal of staying out of the 1A West regional play-in game.

But rather than looking ahead, Egger wants her players to focus on improving, taking Saturday's win, and that good feeling, and making that the foundation for the rest of the season.

"After coming off two tough conference losses, now it shows them more than anything that they can be successful if they play as a team. I didn't see anyone get down on one another at any point in the match. They just played together as a team and stayed positive. Now we need to use this as a cornerstone for improving. The feeling in the gym afterwards was great and a feeling that will stick with them. We just need to keep building on that," said Egger.

This week the Lady Pioneers take on the two conference opponents they need to beat to take a step forward in achieving their season goal; Friday they travel to St. Stephens High School and Saturday they host Meeteetse.

"It's always a challenge to go and play in someone else's house but hopefully we can take the momentum from today into next week," said Egger when asked about playing at St. Stephens "We're always trying to stay out of the pig-tail game and it's always a small goal for us to try and achieve. This week we'll see if we're able to inch closer to that goal"

The Lady Pioneers Friday match vs. St. Stephens will be at 4 p.m. and Saturday's match at Ten Sleep High School will be at 6 p.m.

 
 

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