WYOMING – The Big Piney Lady Puncher volleyball team tallied up the miles during a busy week featuring six games over five days.
On Tuesday, Sept. 7, Big Piney challenged 4A non-conference opponent Jackson on the court where the Lady Punchers fell in three sets.
Climbing back on the bus Friday, Big Piney traveled across the state to participate in the Big Horn Tournament in Sheridan County, playing 1A, 2A and 3A schools from around Wyoming.
The tournament featured three round-robin games on Friday with bracket play on Saturday. Following a pair of 2-0 losses to 1A Lingle-Fort Laramie and 2A Big Horn on Sept. 9, the Lady Punchers fought 1A Upton to a 1-1 draw.
Big Piney hit the court against 3A Burns on Saturday morning, falling 2-0. Picking themselves up, the Lady Punchers went on to battle Burlington to a three-set tiebreaker. Burlington edged ahead in the final set for a 2-1 win.
Regardless of the scoreboard, the Lady Punchers exhibited tenacity and endurance over the course of a busy week. Big Piney played with positive energy and gave several opponents a run for their money.
Head Coach Kinsy Voss expressed pride in the team’s effort.
“We played very well with our new rotation, and the girls felt good with it,” she said. “We saw and played great volleyball this weekend. Now that we have our foundation solid, it’s time for polishing skill sets and working on areas that need to be strengthened. Coach (Jess) Nugent and I are excited for what is in store for us this season.”
Big Horn Tournament highlights
The tournament opened with a game against the Lingle-Fort Laramie Doggers. The Doggers surged ahead in the first set to take the win, 25-15.
Collecting themselves, the Lady Punchers pulled up from behind to overtake the Doggers for most of the second set. Sophomore Micah Strong and seniors Hannah Runyan and Shelby Guest slammed over kills. Freshman Kodee Greene scored with set and senior Sharianne Brower aced her serve.
Guest delivered another kill. Strong tipped over a point and a kill by Runyan tied the set at nine points. Senior Brittany Tatum scored a kill, assisted by Brower, and Big Piney edged ahead.
The Doggers hit the net returning a serve by senior Brynne Hoffman. Runyan wound up a pair of kills. Guest kept Big Piney in the lead with a kill. Greene tipped over point 22.
Senior Audree Sevenski and Guest made multiple saves throughout the game with deep digs.
Lingle-Fort Laramie scored several last-minute points to pull ahead and win the set, 25-22.
Big Piney fell to Big Horn in two sets before fighting Upton to a 1-1 draw.
Big Piney took the lead right out of the gate against Upton. Guest tapped over the first point. Runyan made a block and served a point. Strong powered over a kill and Runyan made a second block.
Upton failed to return a serve by Hoffman. Guest tipped over point 13. Runyan reached up for a third block. Greene scored a kill and Tatum blocked Upton’s next attempt to score.
Sevenski aced point 21 and Runyan slammed over a kill, assisted by Brower. A tip by Runyan kept Big Piney in the lead. Guest tapped over game point, 25-23.
Big Piney maintained the initiative during most of the second set before Upton pulled ahead for the win, 25-23.
On Tuesday, Sept. 13, Big Piney takes on non-conference opponent Pinedale in the Wrangler Gym. Junior varsity plays at 5 p.m., with varsity at 6 p.m.
Conference competition begins in earnest on Friday, Sept. 16, with a home game against St. Stephens with JV at 4 p.m. followed by varsity. Big Piney also hosts conference rival Wyoming Indian on Saturday, Sept. 17. The freshmen play at 11 a.m., followed by JV and varsity.