TORRINGTON – In a rare meeting on the volleyball court, the Torrington Lady Blazers swept the Lingle-Fort Laramie Lady Doggers, 3-0 (25-19, 25-17, 25-12) on Tuesday evening at Willi Gym.
The match meant two different things to each team.
For Torrington, it was a tune-up for this weekend’s 3A Southeast Quadrant matchups with Wheatland and Rawlins.
“It was a nice game to play,” THS coach Chelsi Jackson said. “The Lingle girls played well. It’s always fun to play your friends, essentially, since they all know each other. Our hardest games are coming up for sure. We are preparing well.”
And for Lingle, it was about getting the younger players court time and additional reps in game situations.
“Those young one’s are seeing a lot of playing time,” L-FL coach Barb Clark said. “They are going to be that much stronger next year. We have one senior, and everyone else will be back next year.”
The Lady Doggers held leads in each set, but in the end, the Lady Blazers overpowered the younger Lingle squad.
“We had moments where we played ball and did okay,” Clark said. “Then someone would hit the in net, and we’d get scared again.”
That was something the Lady Doggers did a several points throughout the match, leading Torrington in each of the three sets.
In the opening set, Lingle used an early 5-0 run to take a 5-2 lead before a pair of junior Allison Brummell’s blocks sparked a THS rally.
In the second set, Lady Dogger senior Kaylie Rafferty tallied two kills to give Lingle an early 3-0 lead but kills by Torrington senior Michaela Moorehouse and junior Reece Halley gave the Lady Blazers a 7-5 lead.
In the final set, Lingle had a 3-2 advantage before a kill and a stuff block by Brummell gave the Lady Blazers the lead for good.
“It’s just the little things that they know how to do,” Clark said. “They do it in practice, and we get in a game – I don’t know mentally where we are. They get scared. They hear all about the big block and big hitters. I told them don’t worry about them, just go play ball.”
No stats were available from the match at press time.
The Lady Blazers host Wheatland on Friday at 4 p.m. and Rawlins on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Lady Doggers fall to Saratoga, Encampment
On Saturday, Lingle traveled southwest to face Saratoga and Encampment, and the Lady Doggers fell in both matches.
“Saratoga and Encampment weren’t horrible games,” Clark said. “We had Encampment down 2-0 and let it go. We just can’t execute for a whole match.”
L-FL opened the doubleheader with a pair of set wins over Encampment before falling 3-2.
The Lady Doggers picked up 25-18, 25-23 wins, but the Lady Tigers scored three straight set wins, 25-23, 25-22, 16-14 to edge Lingle.
Freshman Natalie Speckner led the team with seven kills, while sophomore Kamryn Rafferty and junior M’Lynn Hill had six each. The Lady Doggers served up 14 aces in the loss, including five from sophomore Maddy Saul with five. Rafferty and junior Tiah Meyer tallied three stuff blocks each.
Later in the afternoon, Saratoga defeated the Lady Doggers 3-1.
The Lady Panthers netted a pair of 26-24 wins to take a 2-0 lead, but Lingle extended the match to a fourth set with a 25-23 win in the third. In the final set, Saratoga won 25-23.
Rafferty tallied a team-high 12 kills, while senior Kaylie Rafferty and Meyer added nine each. Speckner had three stuff blocks, while Meyer had two.
Lingle has a quick turnaround with matches on Thursday and Friday.
“It’s a week of, you have to figure it out because we don’t have time to practice getting it figured out,” Clark said. “We pass every night. We serve every night. It’s frustrating. They are good kids. They work hard and want to do well, but it’s not just coming together. It just a year of weirdness, but we are glad to get to play.”
The Lady Doggers return to action Friday at home against the Pine Bluffs Lady Hornets. First serve is set for 5 p.m.