BIG PINEY – The Big Piney Lady Punchers trailed the Kemmerer Lady Rangers by seven points in the second set during the Sept. 22 Homecoming game at the Puncher Gym.
The Lady Rangers struck out, returning a hit by senior Sharianne Brower. Fellow senior Hannah Runyan tipped over a point. Kemmerer overshot the ball responding to a spike from senior Shelby Guest.
Runyan aced two serves. Senior Brynne Hoffman covered the center, sending the ball to freshman Kodee Greene. Greene delivered a powerful kill.
Runyan served up another ace and the Lady Punchers pulled into the lead.
Big Piney retained the initiative until Kemmerer snuck up at point 24. Unwilling to call it quits, the Lady Punchers pushed the set beyond 25 points.
Kemmerer ultimately scored the two points needed to win the set, 28-26, and a 3-0 victory over Big Piney.
The Lady Punchers’ drive in the second set reflected the team’s resolve to maintain the fight against a tough, former 3A division opponent.
On Saturday, Sept. 24, Big Piney applied the same pluck while playing Mountain View, the top-ranked 3A team in Wyoming. Mountain View won, 3-0, but the Lady Punchers scored kills, aces during their gutsy stand against a challenging opponent.
“Saturday’s game against Mountain View was awesome,” said Head Coach Kinsy Voss. “I enjoy playing them because they bring us to play at their level every time. We play such a great defense against them and it’s honestly such a great game of volleyball being played.”
Set, spike, score
The Lady Rangers carried the lead through a majority of the first set, though Big Piney stayed close on its opponent’s heels.
Runyan reached up for a pair of blocks and slammed over a kill, tying the set at point 4. Kemmerer shot the ball out of bounds returning a serve by Hoffman.
Kemmerer briefly took over the court until Big Piney matched its opponent at point 7 with sophomore Micah Strong setting the ball.
Guest, Runyan and senior Brittany Tatum kept the Lady Punchers in the game, powering over a series of kills. The Lady Rangers served the ball into the net twice. Greene made a block, Guest slammed down a kill and Strong aced her serve before Kemmerer regained the lead and scored game point, 25-18.
Kemmerer established a commanding 7-point lead in the second set. Undaunted, the Lady Punchers responded with an 8-point run to overtake the Lady Rangers.
Greene and Brower defended the net for point 12. Senior Audree Sevenski outran the ball and made a save deep in the backcourt. Guest pumped over a kill. Greene scored point 17 with a tip and Sevenski bumped over point 18.
Tatum maintained Big Piney’s lead with a kill. Guest tipped over point 20 and Sevenski served up point 21. Runyan delivered a kill, assisted by Brower. Guest tipped the ball and Runyan made a block.
The Lady Rangers managed to catch up to Big Piney at 24 points. Kemmerer tangled with the net returning a serve by Strong, placing Big Piney in the lead, 25-24. The Lady Rangers scored, and then overshot the ball off a serve by Strong for the Lady Punchers to edge ahead, 26-25.
Kemmerer tied the set at 26 points and went on to score two additional points to win, 28-26.
The Lady Rangers took control of the court in the third set, maintaining a lead until game point, 25-16.
Big Piney travels to Thermopolis for two days of competition at the Bobcat Invitational on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 30-Oct. 1, before taking to the road for a rematch against Kemmerer on Thursday, Oct. 6.
“We face Kemmerer again next month and plan to take that win,” said Coach Voss.