Meeteetse’s volleyball team reached the Gold Bracket, but did not win the gold medal.

The Lady Longhorns previously won the Bronze Bracket at the Bobcat Invitational in Thermopolis and did well in the Silver Bracket, but for the first time they fulfilled a goal by competing in the Gold Bracket.

However, the Longhorns lost to Riverside 13-25, 25-22, 15-11, for their first defeat of the 2019 season.

“This weekend we were playing some higher caliber teams so our mistakes showed more,” coach Kelsey Scolari said. “We had some great games and the girls did well. We just made too many small errors.”

Despite the loss to Riverside, Meeteetse bested Arvada-Clearmont 21-7, 21-11, and Farson-Eden 21-9, 21-11 and had splits with Wyoming Indian and Kemmerer over the tournament’s two days.

That leaves the 1A Longhorns’ record at 16-1-4.

“Overall, it was a successful weekend,” senior Amanda Cooley said. “We had little bumps”

It was always a grand concept to think the Longhorns could go unbeaten all season, but it was difficult to believe that would be a reality. Still, the first defeat was bothersome.

“There’s never a good time to lose. It’s a hard lesson to learn,” Cooley said, “and it shows us where we can improve. On the little things.”

Meeteetse has played crisply most of the season, surviving some close matches. The stretch of wins provided confidence, but Scolari has preached about overconfidence.

“It’s our first loss,” Cooley said, “and we were all upset after the game. We’re going to try to let it make us stronger.”

Players have been trying to see value in the loss, even though they certainly didn’t wish to experience it.

“It was a good weekend,” junior Sammy May said. “I think we got a lot out of it and that was even with a loss. I think we were all a little bit disappointed.”

Putting a brave face on, much like Cooley, May said some good can come from falling to Riverside.

“I think it’s good to get a loss to highlight what we have to work on,” she said.

She was thinking ahead to conference and state.

Of course, the Longhorns haven’t displayed enough flaws to be hurt by them before this. Their passing, hitting and defense have all been solid. But they admit they can improve.

The outlook, May said, is “This is what we did wrong and this is what we’re going to fix.”

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