SHERIDAN — Sheridan College volleyball head coach Jennifer Stadler exhausted her last timeout of the opening set Tuesday with her Lady Generals trailing Casper College late in the frame. Stadler felt like her team simply couldn’t get out of its own way, creating many of the self-induced errors that gave the Lady Thunderbirds a golden opportunity to take the first set inside the Bruce Hoffman Golden Dome.
“I just told them to settle down,” Stadler said.
The Lady Generals harnessed their adrenaline and rallied, scoring seven of the last eight points to take the opening set.
Stadler would not need to utilize another timeout the rest of the night.
“We finally started playing like a team and got our flow back,” Sheridan’s Jody Gallagher said.
That snowballed into two more wins and a 3-0 sweep of Casper, which pushes the Lady Generals to 6-1 in Region IX play.
The victory also got SC back on track after a misstep against North Division leader Laramie County Community College Saturday. The loss to the Lady Golden Eagles wasn’t all bad, it ignited something within the Lady Generals.
“We’ve always had a fire inside us, and I think us losing to LCCC really lit a bigger fire underneath of us, knowing that we want to compete against them and get back at them,” Stadler said.
LCCC leads the North with an unblemished 6-0 record, and the Lady Golden Eagles and Lady Generals will meet again late in October in Cheyenne. For that game to be of great importance, and perhaps determine the divisional crown, Sheridan will have to find ways to win on the road in conference play.
The Lady Generals’ last five league matches are all away from Sheridan. SC has proven it can win on the road — logging one region victory and a couple more during the nonconference portion of the season — but will have to do it consistently for multiple weeks.
“Mentally, will be the biggest challenge for us,” Stadler said. “Any road match you have to be more mentally tough than actually your skills being there, so we’ll talk about that (Wednesday) about being more mentally disciplined. We’ve got to have energy. We won’t have a home crowd to back us up. I thought the crowd was great (Tuesday). I thought the student section was awesome, but when you’re away, you have to create it on your own. That’s going to be our big focus this week, creating our own momentum, but executing at a high level.”
Stadler and company would ideally duplicate what they did during sets two and three Tuesday night.
After a 26-24 first-set win, SC backed it up with another strong finish, tallying seven of the final 10 points of set No. 2, to win it 25-21. The third and final set saw the Lady Generals play their most complete stretch of volleyball of the night. They took the steam out of the Lady Thunderbirds early and eased to a 25-19 victory.
Cayl Boman paced Sheridan with 10 kills. Tehya Ray added five kills of her own to go alongside four blocks, and libero Hannah Lloyd boasted 20 digs on the night.
On Friday, the Lady Generals travel to Northwest College — a team Sheridan defeated in five sets in late September.