Jayci Irvin waves at the crowd as she is introduced at Wyoming Indian. (Photo by Sherri Cooley)

Meeteetse returned to Ethete to face 2A Wyoming Indian, after missing the trip last year due to the pandemic, on the volleyball court. The Lady ’Horns, adjusting to a new scheme on the court, made short work of their opponent to the south, winning in straight sets, 25-14, 25-22, 25-15.

“I thought the girls played a solid game,” coach Kelsey Scolari said. “They are starting to get used to our new system and they are playing together well.”

The Lady ’Horns (2-4-1) opened the match with an error, but quickly corrected and ripped off seven straight points to go up 7-1. They didn’t relinquish the lead the rest of the way, trading points on occasion, but the early run gave Meeteetse plenty of cushion and the Lady ’Horns closed out the set with some strong sister-to-sister play between Kiana and Kayla Horsen.

“The Horsens are extremely smart and court-aware,” Scolari said. “Each player adds a strength, we are just in the process of putting them all in positions to really highlight them all.”

Kiana Horsen opened the second set with some excellent service work, showing a range of serves from hard line drives to curveballs that dropped into no-man’s-land and helped the Lady ’Horns build an early 9-3 lead in the set. Wyoming Indian (2-9, 0-1 2A Southwest) worked back into it, drawing within two midway through the set, but a sequence of errors allowed Meeteetse to build a short-lived lead.

Wyoming Indian came storming back, drawing within a point at 23-22 and nearly dashing the Lady ’Horns hopes of a two-set lead, but two late errors gave Meeteetse the points it needed to take the second set and some momentum into set three.

“We knew we needed to stick together and constantly have our heads high,” junior Ashlee Allen said.

The Lady ’Horns opened the third set strong, going up 8-3, and never really looked back. Strong serves and good placement on the outside from senior Delanie Salzman helped maintain the lead in the middle of the set, and Kayla Horsen closed out the match with a big-time kill.

Cancellations have already started to impact the schedule, which made this match the first time that senior Kennedi Johnson saw the court this season after an injury delayed her start to the year. The libero on the state runner-up team last year, Johnson adds a great deal of lateral quickness to the team and Scolari called her a “vital” piece of a team still eyeing a return to the playoffs. Her teammates were glad to have her back, too.

“Having Kennedi Johnson back on the floor with us after her injury was a huge impact,” Allen said. “Kennedi is one of the best passers on the team, she is scrappy, fast and always has a smile on her face. It is contagious.”

Meeteetse hits the court again Thursday when they travel to Burlington (1-6-3) to open conference play for the season. Opening serve is 6 p.m.

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