BURNS – Lingle-Fort Laramie High School volleyball team got off to quick starts in the first two sets Tuesday evening against the Burns Lady Broncs, but the Lady Doggers couldn’t finish off those sets with victories.
As a result, Class 3A Burns swept Class 1A Lingle, 3-0 (26-24, 25-22, 25-17).
“We couldn’t put our foot on the neck,” L-FL coach Barb Clark said. “It’s all subconscious. We think we are okay then about that time, their two best servers come up and throw some balls at us that we were timid of.”
It’s going to be a big point of emphasis the remainder of the season.
“If you can’t finish, we aren’t going to go as far as I know we can,” Clark said.
In the opening set, Lingle raced out to a 6-2 lead and maintained the advantage until late.
Lady Dogger senior Kalli Nichol tallied a kill to give her team a 19-17 lead, but that’s when things went south for L-FL.
Burns scored the next four points to take a 21-19 lead, including a pair of service aces.
“We don’t have that killer mentality yet, and we have to believe that we can do it,” Smith said. “They said it in a timeout, ‘We have to finish it. We can’t play to just 20 points.’ There talk is right, but it just comes down to the belief of whether you can play 25 points hard.”
Lingle wasn’t going to go away.
The Lady Doggers eventually tied the match at 24 when seniors Ashley Riley and Shelby Heilbrun tallied a kill and a block.
However, Burns managed to score the final two points of the set.
In the second set, it was a near carbon copy.
Lingle grabbed an early 6-3 lead, pushing its lead to as many as five at 21-16 following a kill by Riley.
Once again, Burns stormed back late in the set, scoring nine of the final 10 points to take a 2-0 set lead.
In the third set, Riley’s ace gave the Lady Doggers a 6-4 lead, but an attack error later tied the set at seven apiece.
Burns went on to score the next four points, forcing L-FL to call a timeout. The Lady Doggers never regained any traction as the Lady Broncs pulled away for the sweep.
“Burns is a scrappy team, who have a couple really good hitters. They serve hard, and that little libero will run down anything she can get close to,” Clark said. “We are going to go back and regroup. If you can learn from all of this, it was worth it.”
The loss drops the Lady Doggers to 5-5 on the season. Lingle travels to Lusk for the Niobrara County Invite on Saturday. Action gets underway at 9 a.m.