Big Horn and Tongue River high school volleyball teams faced each other to conclude the Big Horn Invitational volleyball tournament Saturday.
Big Horn won the match 2-0 (25-23, 25-22), taking the first victory against the Lady Eagles this year. The two teams will meet again, once in Dayton Sept. 19 and once in Big Horn Oct. 12.
In both games Saturday, Tongue River jumped out to an early 5-1 advantage before the Lady Rams rallied to tie the game. The games were heavily contested through the middle portions before Big Horn built a 6-point lead heading into the final stretch. Tongue River tried to mount a comeback but fell just short.
“I thought we played really well today,” said Lady Rams head coach Katie Stewart. “We are working out some kinks still and getting everyone where they are supposed to be. We are a young team and I was impressed with how they were able to dig their heels in and found a way to get the job done.”
Stewart said she was proud of the effort the team showed against Tongue River. The Lady Rams went 3-0 on the day, defeating Greybull and Rocky Mountain 2-1.
In the three sets against Rocky Mountain, the Lady Rams had hot starts but Rocky Mountain rallied in the first two sets. The Lady Rams were able to win the first set but lost the second before dominating the third. Mistakes by a young Big Horn team prevented it from closing the match out in two sets, Stewart said.
Tongue River head coach Janelle Manore said the Lady Eagles did not have their best showing against Big Horn, letting the little mistakes turn into big mistakes, saying it was a rough way to end the weekend.
Tongue River was 1-2 on the day, losing the first match against Pine Bluffs 2-0 and winning the second match against Wind River 2-0, prior to facing Big Horn.
“There was a lot of good and there is a lot for us to work on,” Manore said. “It was a good weekend for us. This tournament has a lot of 2A teams that we will see at the end of the season. It has been nice being able to see where you are sitting with the rest of the state before conference play starts.”
Arvada-Clearmont High School participated in the tournament and played in the gold bracket the second day. The Lady Panthers were short-handed, down four girls due to injuries and one girl participating in a rodeo, said head coach Sarah Walker. This left the team with eight girls to play. In the past, any injuries left ACHS without any subs and sometimes leaving them with only five players. Walker is happy with the depth that she has this year and looks to continue developing the younger players moving forward.
The Lady Panthers were 0-2 on the day, losing to Kaycee High School 2-1 (22-25, 26-24, 15-7) and losing to Moorcroft High School (25-15, 27-25).
Walker said the team has been competing well and is right on the edge of pulling out some wins. Between Friday and Saturday, the Lady Panthers lost four to five games by only a few points. If the team keeps improving, Walker said, some of those games will start going to the Lady Panthers.