Nothing came easily for the Meeteetse Lady Longhorns at the 1A West regional tournament last week in Lander, but after four intense matches the Lady ’Horns secured a coveted spot in the state volleyball tournament as the No. 3 seed in the West, and a little more confidence heading into the most important tournament of the year.
Meeteetse went 3-1 overall, falling only to eventual regional champion, and four-time defending state title winner, Cokeville.
“The girls played their hearts out,” coach Kelsey Scolari said. “They played so well together as a team. All of them stayed consistent and were able to gut out some very close matches.”
The Lady ’Horns entered regionals the No. 1 seed out of the Northwest and made short work of Farson-Eden on Friday to start things out, taking out the Lady Pronghorns in straight sets, 25-11, 25-14, 25-21.
The Lady ’Horns then dropped three sets to No. 1 ranked Cokeville, 25-8, 25-9, 25-22, to set up a must win match with Burlington on Saturday.
That match turned out to be a reflection of a number of regular season matches, with the Lady ’Horns grinding out a five-set win to earn a state bid and eliminate Burlington.
Meeteetse beat the Lady Huskies 15-25, 25-8, 23-25, 25-23, 15-12.
“I think all of those close five-set games we were in all season helped us seal the deal at regionals,” Scolari said.
The first game in the third-place match against Saratoga went the Lady Panthers way 21-25.
Meeteetse stormed back in the second set to win 25-7, and then dropped the third 22-25.
Again the Lady ’Horns responded well, taking the fourth and fifth sets, 25-23, 15-6, respectively, to finish third.
“They played well under pressure,” Scolari said. “We need to attack the ball more and we have a couple of holes on defense that we need to fix, but other than that the girls just need to show up at state and lay it all on the line.”
The Lady ’Horns will begin state tournament play at 6 p.m. Thursday against Hulett, the No. 2 seed out of the East, at the Casper Events Center.
Cokeville enters state as the No. 1 seed out of the West. Southeast (Yoder) secured the top seed in the East.
“I think if there is a year for Cokeville to fall, it will be this year,” Scolari said. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see Little Snake River take state this year. We just need to play great volleyball. We have nothing to lose and we are going to play like it.”