The Meeteetse volleyball team split its matches this weekend at the 2A Duals in Basin, losing to Riverside and beating Big Piney.
Sometimes, a team just has your number. That’s been the case so far this season for the No. 3 2A Riverside Rebels, twice taking down the No. 3 Lady ’Horns most recently in Basin 21-25, 25-22, 18-25, 22-25.
“There wasn’t one major glaring issue,” coach Kelsey Scolari said of the loss to the Rebels. “We had a hard time just getting things to work in our favor.”
The Rebels are the only team thus far to beat the Lady ’Horns. Meeteetse (9-2, 3-0 conference) cruised through a matchup against a 3A school even without one of their top players in Kiana Horsen ,but can’t seem to quite get over the hump against the Rebels.
The Rebels opened the match with some strong serves to center court, going on a 3-0 run to kick things off, a run ended by a spike from senior Lexi Allen (10 kills, eight blocks) that echoed throughout the gymnasium.
The teams traded runs throughout the first set, with the Lady ’Horns consistently playing catch-up until they could knot it at 16, but it wouldn’t be enough. The Rebels went on another run, and the Lady ’Horns would never bring it back despite the defensive effort at the net by Allen, who netted three blocks in a row on the same point when the Lady ’Horns were down 20-19.
The second set saw more of the same, with each team trading body blows. The rallies got longer, and neither team was able to pull away. The Lady ’Horns found themselves down again until Allen hit another equalizer to tie it at 13.
“I guess when we are tied, especially, I feel the need to either be smarter where I hit and find the holes or really focus in on lining up to get a potential block,” Allen said.
Communication errors hit the squad as balls went whizzing past or players didn’t realize someone with a better angle was waiting behind them.
Down 19-15, the Lady ’Horns stampeded back, going on a 4-0 run, knotting the score on a critical block by junior Miya May (nine kills, three blocks). That was the turning point in the set, and Meeteetse didn’t trail again to close it out, winning by three.
The third set was all Lady ’Horns to start, going up 10-5 early, but a string of errors on serves and during rallies allowed the Rebels to tie the set at 11 each. The teams traded runs back and forth, tying it again at 12, then 16, but the Rebels took off after that, icing the match on 4-0 and 3-0 runs.
“When we’re losing sets by four or five points, we can’t afford to give the other team points,” Scolari said. “They didn’t earn that many points. We just gave them a lot of them.”
The fourth and final set of the match started in much the same way the third did, with the Lady ’Horns starting strong but errors started to pile up for Meeteetse. The score went back and forth as it did the entire match, but Riverside pulled away, slowly but surely.
When the Rebels ripped off a 3-0 run to make the score 21-17, the Lady ’Horns tried to bring it back, coming within one point of tying the match on a huge spike by senior Samantha May (10 kills, 15 assists), making the score 23-22 in favor of the Rebels.
Riverside pulled together on the defensive side, though, getting two blocks in a row to finish off the match.
“We really wanted to win this game, but the little mistakes add up,” Samantha May said. “I’m glad we fixed them in the Big Piney game.”
Their next opponent at the 2A Duals was unranked 2A Big Piney.
It didn’t take long for Meeteetse to dispatch its opponent from a larger school, finishing the match in less than an hour in straight sets, 25-14, 25-12, 25-11.
“Seeing as some of (our) potential competitors have played them and went to four sets, we were really happy we only went to three with them not scoring much,” Samantha May said.
The match didn’t start well for the Lady ’Horns, committing back-to-back errors and getting in an early 4-1 hole. They did not stay in the hole long. Runs of five, six and four points followed soon thereafter, with the Lady ’Horns looking dominant throughout the set.
The second set was a bit more competitive for Big Piney, but the Lady ’Horns still piled up the points, putting together three 2-point runs, two 3-point runs and a 6-point run in the frame to get the win.
The final set was all Lady ’Horns. The Punchers got the first point, but senior Abigale May, set up by twin sister Samantha, spiked it so hard into Punchers libero Haley Wilson that she did a backwward somersault as she dug it. Junior Kiana Horsen would swat it for the point the next time the ball went over the net.
Up 13-10, the Lady ’Horns went on a 12-0 run to get the win. Abigale May held serve throughout the run and finsihed with six aces in the match.
“It went by so quick that I lost track of how long I was serving,” she said. “It felt as if I just served the last five points to finish the game.”
The Powell JV squad will make the trip to Meeteetse this Saturday for the Lady ’Horns next game. First serve is at 2 p.m.