Molly Hays sets the ball.

The Cody girls volleyball team is headed to the state tournament.

Saturday afternoon at Star Valley High School the No. 3-seeded Fillies defeated No. 4 Evanston 3-0 in their third match of the 4A West Conference Tournament to secure a spot at state.

Cody then fell to Rock Springs 25-18, 25-23, 25-19 to finish as the No. 4 seed for the state tournament.

“Obviously I’m very proud of their overall performance,” coach Nicole Gwynn said. “Tournaments take a lot out of you and there are great teams in this region, so it took almost everything we had to get a spot.”

Against the Lady Red Devils, the Fillies (19-6) played close through the first part of the opening set, leading 15-14 after a back-and-forth start. Then Cody pulled away, forcing game point at 24-17 on an ace and slamming the door soon after for a 25-20 win.

In the second set, the Fillies took control early, reached game point at 24-14 on a block, and won 25-14 when Evanston was unable to return the next serve.

Cody took control in the final set with a 7-0 run, with Molly Hays serving and adding a couple of aces in the stretch, to take a 17-9 lead. Cody went on to win 25-16 to seal the sweep and state berth.

Cody stayed alive in the tournament in Star Valley with a 3-0 win Saturday against Riverton.

Against the Lady Wolverines, after a 25-17 opening set win, in the second set the score stayed close throughout and after being tied at 21, the Fillies scored the final four points, winning with a block of a Riverton kill attempt.

Cody had to rally in the third set, after being down 24-20, to tie it at 24 and then record a kill for the 27-25 win.

Cody lost its first match to No. 6 Rock Springs 3-2, with the fifth set going longer than usual as the teams were tied at 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18. The Lady Tigers scored the final two points, the last on a block, to secure the 20-18 win.

The Fillies fell behind early, losing the first set 25-18, winning the second 25-12 and falling in the third 28-26. On the brink, they rallied in the fourth set to stay alive.

In the fourth set, Cody held on to a small lead through most of the match, including 15-13 and 19-18. Autumn Wilson tallied a kill to make it 21-19 and the Fillies maintained the slim lead the rest of the way to win 25-22, helped out by some late defensive plays.

“Our loss yesterday was an awesome game,” Kennedi Niemann said Saturday. “We fought to the very last point and gave it everything. It just didn’t turn out how we wanted. I think we used it as a learning moment and came out even harder today.

“Our energy was super good today, too, which helped us in tight situations.”

Cody, the No. 4 seed out of the west, opens state tournament play at 3 p.m. Thursday in Casper against the east’s top seed, Laramie (29-2).

“I expect state to be incredible competition,” Gwynn said. “We’re about to see some of the best teams in the state. I believe we belong among them, but we will have to prepare diligently and be ready to bring everything we have.”

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