The Lady Grizz volleyball squad suffered disappointment this week after four hard-fought games, including a loss to Greybull in a pigtail game on Monday night that took away their chance to go to the Regional Tournament in Lander.
The girls took Thermopolis to five games at home on Thursday. Thermop won the first two 25-17 and 25-22. The Lady Grizz won the next two 26-24 and 25-22, but fell to Thermop in the fifth game 15-7.
Mandee Leonhardt and Shauna Loman had 100 percent serving. Mikaela Hocker had six aces. Maddie Crawford had four aces. Rachael Allred had 15 kills. Brianna Hocker had seven kills, Loman had nine, Haley Strom had three, Kallee Jo Wilson had four and Mikaela Hocker had six kills. Leonhardt had 20 digs and Allred had 17 digs.
“What was good about this go around is that we had some really good blocking,” said Coach Carol McMillin. “We had quite a few girls doing some blocking. We put a lot more work into the net and we did better with that.”
Allred had seven assisted blocks and Strom had six assisted blocks. Hannah Winland, Loman, Wilson and Mikaela Hocker each had three assisted blocks.
The girls played four games with Burlington at home on Friday. Burlington won the first two games 28-26 and 25-20, but not without a good fight from the Lady Grizz. The Grizz took the next game 25-20, but fell to Burlington 25-23 in game four.
“They played well,” said McMillin. “This game was the first game where we did rotations with Kallee (Wilson), so we rotated her in the middle position with Haley Strom and then we rotated her in an outside position with Shauna Loman. It worked really well and it was a good atmosphere for the girls to have her back playing on the team.”
Wilson has been out most of the season after major back surgery. On doctor’s orders McMillin played her in the front row to protect her from too much diving during the game.
The girls travelled to Greybull on Saturday. The Lady Grizz came out on top after five games. They won the first two games 25-22 and 25-15. Greybull surged to win the next two 25-15 and 26-24, but fell to Rocky in the fifth game 15-13.
By taking that win, the Lady Grizz won the home court advantage in the pigtail game that was played with Greybull on Monday night.
Winland, Brianna Hocker and Wilson had 100 percent serving. Crawford served a total of 12 in a row in the second game and served 24 times overall. Winland had two kills, Allred had five, Brianna Hocker had nine, Loman two, Strom three. Mikaela Hocker had five kills and Wilson had 10.
“Kallee hits from way up in the air and so her trajectory is down more than out and it makes it hard to dig because it is powerful,” said McMillin. “I can only imagine how powerful it would be if she would have been able to do the circuit training all season with the rest of the girls. All of the girls have done circuit training all year and I believe the circuit training has made them more powerful.”
“Again, our blocking was really good,” said McMillin.
Winland had two assisted blocks, Allred four assisted blocks, Brianna Hocker had one solo block and six assisted blocks, Loman had two assisted blocks, Strom had two solo blocks and nine assisted blocks, Mikaela Hocker had two solo blocks and six assisted blocks and Wilson had one solo block and six assisted blocks.
The pigtail game
The Rocky girls fell to Greybull in the pigtail game on Monday night, in effect ending their season. Greybull won the first two games 25-18 and 26-24. The Lady Grizz won the third game 27-25, but lost the hard-fought fourth game 25-21.
Winland and Leonhardt had 100 percent serving. Mikaela Hocker had four aces, Wilson two aces and Brianna Hocker and Strom had one ace each. Allred had eight kills, Brianna Hocker seven, Loman four, Mikaela Hocker six, Strom five and Wilson seven.
Leonhardt had five digs, Brianna Hocker five and Wilson four.
Loman had one solo block, Mikaela Hocker two, Strom and Wilson one each. Allred had five assisted blocks, Brianna and Mikaela Hocker four apiece, Strom eight and Wilson three.
The devastating loss brought some to tears after a season of hard work that was just beginning to pay off.
By Patti Carpenter