LINGLE – The Class 1A Lingle-Fort Laramie volleyball team knocked off Class 3A Burns Lady Broncs, 3-0 (25-21, 25-20, 25-21).
“It was huge for us. I thought we played an excellent game,” L-FL coach Barb Clark said.
The Lady Doggers dug themselves in a deep hole in the opening set, falling behind 6-1.
Lingle slowly chipped away at the deficit and a block point by junior Ashely Riley tied the game at 10 apiece.
“The girls are jelling,” Clark said. “We were down big in that first set and it’s huge when a team can stick together and not picking at each other. They’ve done a really good job of that all season.”
Riley later put her team in front courtesy of a serving ace, 14-13.
The ace sparked a 6-2 spurt which was capped off by a senior Kaelyn Riley kill.
“We served tough and took their setter out of the game,” Clark said. “She was having to set people she didn’t want to set, and they had to free ball a lot of them over. That made it a much easier for us to stay in system.”
Burns later tied the set at 19 each, but Lingle pulled away using a second 6-2 to close out the set win.
In the second set, L-FL jumped out to a 7-3 lead, taking advantage of a number of Burns.
The Lady Doggers never trailed, but the Lady Broncs managed to close the gap to 13-12 before Lingle pulled away with a series of kills from Jordyn Gaspers, Kaelyn Riley and Ashley Riley.
The third set was much like the first.
Burns grabbed an early 5-1 advantage, but Lingle rattled off four straight scores to tie the set at five.
“The last game, we started playing patty cake with them and playing a little safe, but before that, we hit the ball very, very well,” Clark said.
An attack error by Burns gave the Doggers a 10-9 lead, and Lingle never trailed again for the remainder of the match.
“Defensively, we dug the ball well. We ran through a lot of balls that would have dropped,” Clark said. “It was the best I’ve seen Lingle-Fort Laramie play in a while. I thought we got blocks tonight better than we had in a while.”
Trailing 24-17 late in the set, Burns cut the deficit to three before Ashley Riley capped off the match with a kill.
As a result of the win, the Lady Doggers also get bonus points towards regional seeding purposes for knocking off a larger class team.
“Burns went 3A so that adds points when we go into Regionals,” Clark said. “By beating a 3A team you get more points than you would for beating a 1A or 2A. That helps us with our rankings.”
Lingle (8-2) traveled to Pine Bluffs Thursday and heads to Glenrock Saturday for a 3 p.m. contest.
“If we can take this momentum into Pine Bluffs it will help us a lot,” Clark said. “Both of those teams are big, and they are going to hit the ball at us. Our defense is going to have to play tough.”