TORRINGTON – The Eastern Wyoming College volleyball team got back in the win column Tuesday night against the Laramie County Community College Golden Eagles.
The Lady Lancers battled back from a 2-1 deficit to claim a 3-2 (20-25, 25-22, 25-27, 27-25, 15-9) victory, snapping a three-game losing streak.
Both teams came into the match with a 5-3 record in North Sub-Region play, with the winner coming away with a leg up on a possible bye in the quickly approaching Region IX Tournament.
“I don’t want to sell short the other accomplishments we’ve had this season, but I think that was the best one of the season for us,” first year coach Dante Geoffrey said. “We were coming off three losses in a row, two of them in division that kind of killed our chances at the top overall seed.”
It was a close match throughout as neither team held a lead larger than five through the first three sets.
Things changed in the fourth when the Lady Lancers pulled away, taking a 18-12 lead, but the visiting Golden Eagles scored seven in a row to take a 19-18 advantage.
“In games past, we would have said, ‘oh no, we’ve already lost it,’” Geoffrey said.
However, this time was different.
“We kept our fight all the way through,” Geoffrey said.
The Lady Lancers ended up battling back to win 27-25 to force a fifth set, but heading into the fifth, the message to his team was, “we have to forget them because those memories aren’t going to propel us to a fifth-set victory. It’s going to be choosing to make good, aggressive, smart plays.”
That’s exactly what they did.
EWC scored the first point of the set and never trailed in the 15-9 win to earn the team’s 20th win of the season.
“We were aggressive without being reckless, tipping when we needed to but swinging to keep them on their heels,” Geoffrey said. “We served really tough those first two sets. We got them out of system.
“I’m enormously proud of the way our players responded.”
The win also moves the Lady Lancers into sole possession of second place in the North Sub-Region standings.
“Taking a huge step in earning that bye is big,” Geoffrey said. “You don’t want to play on that first day of Regionals and potentially be one-and-done. You get an extra day to scout, practice and prepare.”
The Lady Lancers (20-11 overall and 6-3 in the North) now turn their attention to the final three matches of the regular.
The home stretch begins Friday when the Casper College Thunderbirds (8-22 and 4-4) travel to the Verl Petsch Jr. Activities Center for a 7 p.m. match.
“As everyone in this gym saw tonight, Laramie County is playing much better volleyball than when we went to their house a few weeks ago,” Geoffrey said. “Casper is going to be very much the same way. Coach (Angel) Sharman is a great coach, and she will coach her team up and fight to the very last point.”