SHERIDAN — The Tongue River Lady Eagles beat the Greybull Lady Buffs in a five-set match Friday night. Set scores were 25-18, 20-25, 25-15, 14-25 and 15-11. Tongue River head coach Janelle Manore said the team worked on enjoying the game and saw the benefits of that mentality Friday night.
“Even when things weren’t going our way in the fourth set, the girls were still competing, they still wanted to be there,” Manore said. “We had some errors and they just kind of compounded into more errors but they came out and they found a way.”
The teams were even through the first half of the first set until a spike and a short touch by senior Seeara Wojtczak and a combined block by senior Raessa Williams and senior Emma Schroder put the Lady Eagles on a run to a score of 25-18. The Lady Eagles won the set on a spike to the far corner from freshman libero Shaylynn Severson.
The Lady Eagles continued to lead through the first part of the second set, led by spikes from Wojtczak. But the Lady Buffs connected on several cross-court spikes and pulled ahead and began to force errors from the Lady Eagles. Greybull took the second set 20-25.
The Lady Eagles had a slight lead into the middle of the third set when they began to pull away from Greybull after a touch to the outside from junior Sydney Pittman that Greybull couldn’t save. Tongue River then widened the lead to win the set with a score of 25-15.
The Lady Eagles began the fourth set ahead with a big spike by Wojtczak and a long volley with multiple blocks from each team that ended in Tongue River’s favor on a hit to the far line. But Greybull soon pulled far ahead to a 9-23 lead. The Eagles had a brief six-point comeback with Greybull at 23 points, but Greybull finished up and took the set 14-25.
In the final set, the Lady Eagles gained the lead during serves by freshman Lilly Krumm and gained momentum when a serve from Krumm knocked a Greybull defender on her back. The Lady Eagles gave up a few points on mistakes like short serves, but remained in control and took the set 15-11.
Severson said the team’s focus on playing one point at the time worked well for them this week.
“It was awesome. It was a little frustrating at the beginning. We just have to keep that mentality. So we always say point by point, and that’s what we’re doing,” Severson said.
Severson said she thought the team worked very well together.
“I think that’s what’s so special is we have an amazing team dynamic,” Severson said.
Manore said the team’s focus on the process led to a great conference win for the team.
“I’m really proud of the girls,” Manore said. “They all stepped up and did what they needed to do.”
Wozjack praised junior setter Emma Scammon and senior Sydney Butler for their efforts and said the team communicated well throughout the night.
“I think our setter [Emma Scammon] stood out, she got every ball, every touch on it, and I think our libero stood out,” Wojtczak said. “She was going after every ball.”
“I think the girls are hungry, and it’s the right time of the year to be hungry,” Manore said.
The Lady Eagles face the Riverside High School Lady Rebels in Basin on Saturday.