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By Alex Kuhn
Sports Editor 

With nothing to lose, Lady Bobcats plan to swing for the fences vs. Douglas


October 29, 2020

THERMOPOLIS — This volleyball season has been filled with many “oh, so close moments” for the Hot Springs Lady Bobcats. Each week they have moved closer to finally getting over that hump but ultimately fall just short. With the postseason here, though, now is as good a time as good as any to punch through finally.

The Lady Bobcats are in Douglas today to take on the WyoPreps No. 3-ranked Douglas Lady Bearcats at noon in the 3A Northeast quadrant volleyball tournament.

“We have the one playoff match and against Douglas,” said HSCHS volleyball coach Shannon Hill. “We just played them on Saturday, but we’re going to prepare and go with the mindset of it’s hard to beat a team three times. We’re the underdog. We’re not going to give up at this point. It’s one match, and we’ll put it all out on the floor and see what happens.”

Due to COVID-19, the regional tournament has a different format this season. Instead of matching up against the other quad in the conference at regionals, the quads will hold their own four-team tournament. The first round is single elimination; then, the winners advance to the quad championship. The winner of the championship earns the No. 1-seed, the loser No. 2-seed.

Then Saturday, the top two teams from each quad-play in another four-team tournament to determine the seeding for next week’s 3A State tournament in Casper on Nov. 2.

For example, Thermopolis is the No. 4-seed in the 3A Northeast and play the Northeast’s No. 1-seed Douglas. No. 2 Buffalo and No. 3 Newcastle matchup on the other side of the bracket. The winners from those two matches play each other for seeding in Saturday’s four-team tournament against the top two teams from the 3A Southeast.

The Lady ‘Cats have already lost to Douglas twice this season, most recently 3-0 (25-14, 25-13, 25-14) in their regular-season finale on Oct. 24 in Douglas.

Obviously, wanting to put that game behind them, the Lady ‘Cats will draw from their final home match of the season against Buffalo on Oct. 23. While it did end in a 3-1 loss (25-22, 20-25, 25-15, 25-18), it was one of their better matches of the season. The Lady ‘Cats limited their hitting errors and battled tough but just couldn’t string enough plays together.

“After Game 1 and 2, I thought this was going to be a good night. We were looking sharp, playing great defense, our hitters were doing well, and then I’m not sure what happened in Game 3. It was frustrating. Buffalo’s good, but that’s definitely a team we can play with, but it came down to playing as a team again. The girls looked good, and you could see the moments they were having, but we just couldn’t put enough of those moments together,” said Hill.

Managing in-game adversity has been a struggle for the Lady ‘Cats this season. They certainly showed improvement on that front against Buffalo, but there’s still room for improvement. And while some might think it too late to turn things around with the postseason. The postseason has many twists and turns, and what happened in the regular season doesn’t really matter.

“We’ve just had a hard time overcoming adversity. If things are going great, we look good, but if things don’t do a certain way, it snowballs from there. We did hit in the positives, and that was a good chance to see. We’re showing those improvements, but it just wasn’t happening fast enough for us,” said Hill. “We’ll prepare for [Douglas’] Allyson [Fertig], work on passing better than we did Saturday and see where things fall.”


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