Lady Punchers force Kemmerer into four-set duel

Robert Galbreath photo Senior Sharianne Brower bumps the ball over the net against Wyoming Indian High School on Sept. 17. Brower’s coverage helped the Lady Punchers score multiple points against Kemmerer on Oct. 6. Also pictured, from left, are senior Brynne Hoffman, senior Hannah Runyan, sophomore Micah Strong and freshman Kodee Greene.

KEMMERER – Big Piney senior Brittany Tatum spiked the ball over the net, tying the third set at 23 points as the Lady Punchers fought to unseat Kemmerer from the No. 1 spot in the 2A Southwest Quadrant on Thursday, Oct. 6.

Kemmerer struck the ball out responding to a hit from sophomore Micah Strong. Senior Brynne Hoffman stepped up to the service line and delivered a powerful serve to score game point, 25-23, forcing the Lady Rangers into a fourth set.

Kemmerer ultimately defended its home court, pulling ahead in the fourth set to win the game, 3-1.

The Lady Punchers’ third-set victory compelled Kemmerer to fight harder than the first showdown between the teams in September when the Lady Rangers achieved a clean sweep.

Big Piney’s improvement against its top-ranked opponent established the team’s determination to keep swinging as conference competition intensifies.

“Our strength was in the back row for that game for sure,” said Head Coach Kinsy Voss. “The front row didn’t connect with as many hits as we normally do. Kemmerer is strong on the net, and we were able to defend against them.”

Kemmerer held the lead through the first set. Senior Hannah Runyan and freshman Kodee Greene tipped the ball over to score early points for the Lady Punchers. The Lady Rangers tangled with the net attempting to respond to a hit by Tatum.

Kemmerer sent several serves into the net. Senior Shelby Guest spiked a point, assisted by senior Sharianne Brower. Strong defended the net with a block. Runyan aced her serve.

Strong leapt up for a second block. Hoffman served a point. Kemmerer met net on its next serve. Guest and Greene each tipped over a point before the Lady Rangers scored game point, 25-15.

The Lady Punchers applied the pressure early in the second set. Kemmerer met the net on two serves. Greene reached high for a block. Strong served a point, tying the set at four points. Greene made another block and freshman Brylie Bailey? whipped up a serve.

Tatum and Runyan both slammed over kills and Runyan served an ace. The Lady Rangers failed to return the ball following good coverage by Tatum and Guest in the backcourt.

Hoffman served a point and Strong set the ball into Lady Ranger territory. Kemmerer widened the gap as the set progressed and scored game point, 25-14.

Stepping up the heat, the Lady Punchers turned the tables in the third set. Kemmerer missed its first two serves. Tatum spiked the ball over the net. Guest scored a hit and Guest and Greene defended the net.

Guest powered over a kill, assisted by Brower. Runyan made a kill and a block. Another hit by Runyan tied the set at 11 points. Big Piney pulled ahead with a set by Runyan and a kill from Tatum.

Kemmerer edged ahead then served the ball out of bounds. Guest delivered a kill and Runyan tipped over a point. Guest served up a pair of points. Tatum tipped the ball over and Strong scored with a set, tying the game at 21 points.

A serve by Runyan placed Big Piney back into the lead. Tatum pulled out a hit. Kemmerer sent the ball into the net off a hit by Strong. Hoffman served game point, 25-23.

Guest aced the first two points in the fourth set. Runyan defended the net and Kemmerer served the ball out of bounds. Strong slammed over a kill, tying the set at 5 points.

The Lady Rangers pulled ahead and maintained their lead through the remainder of the set. Greene spiked over several kills, assisted by Brower. Hoffman served a point and Runyan scored with a set. Kemmerer hit over game point, 25-12.

The Lady Punchers travel to Wyoming Indian High School for an opportunity to remain the No. 2 seed in the quadrant on Saturday, Oct. 15. Freshmen play at 11 a.m., followed by junior varsity at 12 p.m. and varsity at 1 p.m.