TORRINGTON – The Southeast High School volleyball team earned a No. 3 seed from the Class 1A East Regional over the weekend.
The Lady Cyclones opened the regional tournament with a 2-0 day at the Southeast Quadrant Tournament at Willi Gym in Torrington with wins over Rock River and Hanna-Elk Mountain.
In the opening match of the day, Southeast cruised to a 25-13, 25-12, 25-12 victory over Rock River.
“There was definitely more pressure because in that first match, if you lose, you’re done,” coach Roxanne Jolovich said. “There was also a bonus reward as soon as you win that first match, we were going to state.”
The Lady Cyclones raced out to a 13-3 lead in the opening set behind a trio of aces from senior Becca Foos. In all, Southeast served eight aces in the first set and 16 for the match.
In the second set, Rock River matched Southeast point for point.
Clinging to a 13-12 advantage, the Lady Cyclones scored the final 12 points of the second set.
In the third set, sophomore Kealy Carson served up back-to-back aces to give Southeast an 11-3 lead as the team didn’t slow down until junior Jordan Stoddard and sophomore Shelby Ekwall shared a block to close out the match.
Carson led the Lady Cyclones with nine kills, while Ekwall had eight. Sophomore Brenna Herring recorded a team-high five aces and 16 assists, while Carson had four aces. Stoddard tallied two blocks.
The win punched Southeast’s ticket to state, and the message to the team and goal was to get the highest seed possible, including the one seed out of Thursday’s quadrant tournament.
“We are going. It’s not a discussion whether we are going or not, it’s about what seed are we going to have,” Jolovich said. “Getting the one out of here is going to Kaycee on Saturday make a big difference too.”
Later in the afternoon, the Lady Cyclones won three straights from the Hanna-Elk Mountain Lady Miners, 25-17, 25-18, 25-16.
“Going into that match, we knew we would have to shut down (Amy Campbell),” Jolovich said. “It was going to take the block. It was going to take defense. It going to take our serving to get their offense out of system. We did all of those things.”
In the opening set, H-EM scored the first four points of the match before a four-hit possession put Southeast on the scoreboard.
Back-to-back kills by Stoddard tied the match, and Carson pushed the Lady Cyclones to the lead with a kill of her own.
Southeast only trailed once the remainder of the evening when the Lady Miners scored the first points of the second set.
Stoddard led the team with nine kills, and sophomore Sydney Anderson added eight. Carson and senior Emma Short had five aces apiece.
As a team, Southeast tallied 65 digs in the match, led by Foos with 26 and Short with 14.
“I don’t know if we had more digs in any game this season,” Jolovich said. “Our team showed up and did well.”
With the two wins the Lady Cyclones advanced to Saturday’s cross-quadrant portion of regionals as the top seed.
“Anything can happen at regionals,” Jolovich said. “We are going to have to show up and play. From here on out, we going to be playing tough 1A teams. We’ll have to show every time and do our jobs.”
In the semifinal round, Southeast fell 3-2 to the Upton Lady Bobcats.
After winning the opening set 25-20, the Lady Cyclones dropped the next two sets 26-24, 25-17. Southeast tied the match at two with a 25-20 win, forcing a fifth set.
In the fifth, Upton pulled away for a 15-6 victory.
Carson had 10 kills to lead the Lady Cyclones, while Stoddard had 10 kills and four blocks. Foos and Herring served up three aces each, while Foos recorded a team-high 23 digs.
In the third-place match, Southeast swept H-EM for the second time on the weekend with a 25-15, 25-18, 25-21 victory to earn the No. 3 seed from the East for this week’s state tournament.
Stoddard had nine kills, while Anderson had seven. Carson and Short had five aces each.
The Lady Cyclones (18-4) their bid for a state title against the Meeteetse Lady Longhorns (15-3), the No. 2 seed from the West at 10 a.m. at the Casper Events Center on court three. Second round action begins at 1 p.m., with the championship, third-place and fifth-place matches scheduled for 4 p.m.