The Cody volleyball team got of to a strong start during the McDonald’s Invite in Riverton last weekend.

The Fillies won six of their seven matches.

“The tournament was a great success,” coach Stephanie Birch said. “We got some wins and experience under our belt. We found some strengths and identified areas to work on.” 

Cody opened the tourney Friday with a 21-17, 19-21, 15-5 win over Sheridan.

“We came out much better than I expected in that first match,” Birch said. “ I know there are always miscommunications because of first game jitters and there really weren’t many of those. I was really pleased how well we played.” 

Cody then lost to Lander 21-15, 21-19. Birch considered it the Fillies’ best match of the day.

“We played with a lot of passion and energy,” Birch said. “We didn’t win, but a lot of good things came from that match.”

Cody closed out the day by defeating Thermopolis 21-17, 21-19.

On Saturday the Fillies opened with  a 21-16, 21-18 win over Pinedale.

“Our best game on Saturday was definitely against Pinedale because our intensity was amazing and our communication and defense was really good,” junior Grace Shaffer said.

They then defeated Shoshoni 21-8, 21-13; Powell 21-15, 21-13 and Kemmerer 21-9, 21-18.

“It felt reassuring that we won so many games because I knew that our hard work in practice paid off,” Shaffer said. “We still have a lot to work on, but it was nice to see how we all did on the court in real games.”

Shaffer added that the newcomers to varsity did a good job.

“Even though they’re so young, it’s like they’ve been playing with us for years,” she said. “They did great at keeping their emotions calm and collected, instead of being excessively nervous.”

Birch tried a few different lineups during the weekend and moved some players to different positions.

“We saw a lot of good things from the players being flexible and doing what we ask them to do,” she said. “We served really tough. Our passing broke down a few times, but honestly overall we were pretty consistent in all areas of the game. We just need to stay consistent as we raise the level in which we do it.”

Cody hosts the Border Wars this weekend. The tournament features teams from both Wyoming and Montana. The Fillies play at 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. Friday, and 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday.

“I’m looking forward to playing against the Montana teams and building our team chemistry even farther,” Shaffer said. “We’ll need to communicate a bunch and be mindful of everything we do in order to be successful.”

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