Rocky girls build confidence at North Big Horn tourney

Teams from Lovell, Burlington, Greybull, Kemmerer, Meeteeste and Ten Sleep traveled for a varsity volleyball tournament held at Rocky Mountain High School last weekend. The tournament was a warm-up for the girls who are just beginning their season.

Mikaela Hocker leaps to spike the ball over the net while fellow team members Jennifer Parker and Haley Strom ready themselves for action at the North Big Horn Volleyball Tournament hosted by Rocky Mountain High School last weekend. Patti Carpenter photo

Mikaela Hocker leaps to spike the ball over the net while fellow team members Jennifer Parker and Haley Strom ready themselves for action at the North Big Horn Volleyball Tournament hosted by Rocky Mountain High School last weekend.
Patti Carpenter photo

The Rocky girls were a bit “jittery” in their first game of the season against Meeteetse on Friday night.

“The girls were really nervous; it was their first game out,” said RMHS coach Jamie Cooley. “After they shook off their nerves, the girls played pretty well.”

In a relatively close first game, ending 28-26 with Meeteetse prevailing, the girls were thrown off a bit by the Meeteetse girls’ constant tipping.

“Meeteetse tips a lot and the girls were just not ready to cover all those tips,” said Cooley. “I think the tipping really got to them, especially since they had first game jitters already.”

Meeteetse prevailed again in the second game, 25-23.

“The girls worked well together,” said Cooley. “I just wish they could have covered those tips better. It took them a while to get used to it, but by then it was too late.”

In their second game, the girls took on the Lovell second team and handled them well, winning both games 25-11 and 25-18.

“The girls were having fun,” said Cooley. “The nerves were calming down as they adjusted to the game setting.”

In their third game of the night, the girls played Kemmerer, falling to them 25-15 and 25-17.

“Kemmerer has a lot of height on their team and they are a good team with impressive hitters,” said Cooley. “I think it was a little intimidating at first.”

Cooley said the girls got on a good run at a certain point in the game but it wasn’t soon enough to pull them ahead of the tough team from Kemmerer.

On Saturday, the girls had the opportunity to go round two with Meeteetse for three games. In the first game Rocky prevailed, 25-20. In the second game Meeteetse prevailed 25-19. In the third game the Rocky girls got edged out 15-10.

“I felt like we should have had them,” said Cooley. “We played better and with more confidence, but we should have been fully prepared for all the tipping after playing them earlier in the tournament.”

In the next game, the girls played with much more confidence and prevailed over Ten Sleep. (Scores not available).

In their next game, they played the lady Buffs but lost to the girls from Greybull Cooley said she was pleased to see them play with more confidence in the game. Greybull won both games 25-22 and 25-12.

“They started these games fully warmed up and ready to go,” said Cooley. “Their nerves were much better, too.”

Cooley said she was especially proud of Haley Strom, who she said stayed very positive and didn’t seem to get discouraged during the games. She noted that Hannah Winland performed well as setter for the team. She was very impressed with Maddie Crawford, as well, who brought a lot of energy to the game, and with the accuracy of Shauna Loman’s hitting placement. She said she appreciated Mikaela Hocker for toughing it out with a hurt finger.

“I really don’t want to leave anyone out; they all worked very hard and did well for an early season tournament,” said Cooley.

Next up, the girls will play Riverside at home on Friday night with games starting at 5 p.m (JV) and 6 p.m.

“I’m excited to see what they can bring,” said Cooley.

Cooley said the girls struggled a bit all weekend with their serves, which surprised her since she thought they were “amazing” in practice. She said they hit way more into the net or out-of-bounds than she expected.

She said the girls still need to work past the quitting point, which in her mind has to do more with confidence than ability.

“I think we are capable of being competitive against any team we play,” said Cooley. “We need to adopt the attitude that it’s not over till its over. That’s all about confidence.”

by Patti Carpenter

 

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