LINGLE – The Southeast Lady Cyclones and the Lingle-Fort Laramie Lady Doggers ended their regular seasons on a winning note over the weekend, but it wasn’t before the Cyclones knocked off the Doggers on Thursday evening in Lingle.
On Thursday, the Lady Doggers fell to the Southeast Lady Cyclones, 3-1 (25-12, 25-22, 21-25, 25-22).
In the opening set, Southeast’s Ellie Schmitt set the tone with an ace serve, allowing the Lady Cyclones to jump out to a 9-3 advantage, cruising to a 13-point set win, but Lingle gave the Class 2A No 2-ranked Lady Cyclones all they could handle the rest of the way.
“The first game against Southeast was scary. We always do that. I think we mentally, it’s a rivalry and we just have to get ourselves out of it,” L-FL coach Barb Clark said. “The second, third and fourth games, I thought we played well. Just a few things that could have gone either way and we could have five with them.”
Kaelyn Riley’s kill and Shelby Heilbrun’s ace gave the Lady Doggers an early 4-2 lead.
It was a lead Lingle held until late in the set.
Southeast’s Hailey Anderson tied the set at 20 with a kill, and on the ensuing point, Schmitt added another ace to give the Lady Cyclones the lead for good in the set.
In the third set, Lingle grabbed a 4-2 lead again. This time, Southeast regained the lead, courtesy of a kill from Marjie Schmitt at 9-8.
However, Lingle countered with a 4-1 run and never trailed again the third set to keep its upset hopes alive.
In the fourth set, neither team led by more than three.
With the Lady Doggers leading 8-5, Southeast called a timeout and promptly scored the next three points to tie the match.
Lingle countered with a 3-0 spurt of its own, including a pair of serving aces from Jessy White.
The home team held on to the lead until Anderson tied the match at 22 with a kill before Southeast scored the final three points to wrap up the victory.
Anderson led the Lady Cyclones with 19 kills and 12 digs. She also added six blocks and two aces, while Ellie Schmitt added 11 kills, seven digs, two aces and handed out 16 assists. Marjie Schmitt tallied 10 assists and nine digs.
Lingle was led by Ashley Riley with 13 kills, while Jordyn Gaspers added 10. Shelby Heilbrun and White served up two aces apiece.
Southeast 3, Glenrock 0
On Friday evening, Southeast ended the regular season with a 25-20, 25-21, 25-20 win over Glenrock.
Anderson led the Lady Cyclones with 20 kills, while Ellie Schmitt dished out 20 assists to go along with 12 kills, seven digs, three aces and two blocks. Breann Hort also had 10 digs, while Marjie Schmitt had 14 digs, four kills and 11 assists.
The Lady Cyclones (17-8 overall and 5-1 in the 2A Southeast) will be the No. 2 seed in the 2A East Regional Tournament starting Friday.
Southeast will face Sundance at 11 a.m. in Glenrock.
Lingle-Fort Laramie 3, Niobrara County 0
On Saturday, the Lady Doggers made the short drive north to Lusk to conclude the regular season, coming away with a 25-21, 25-15, 25-22 sweep of the Niobrara County Lady Tigers.
Lingle jumped out to a 9-3 lead, but Niobrara County wasn’t going to go away.
“We weren’t as up for this one as I would have like us to been. It happens, and it was good that we could find a way to win even being down like that,” Clark said. “We have to find a way to make our own energy when the crowd is quiet. When you are at home and have the boys there, it helps, but they won’t be there at regionals and we’ll have to find our own energy.”
The Lady Tigers tied the set at 19, but Lady Dogger Jordyn Gaspers broke the tie with a kill. Ashley Riley capped off the set with back-to-back kills to secure the set win.
The second set was much the same as Lingle raced out to a six-point advantage. But this time, the Lady Tigers never threatened the Lady Dogger lead.
In the third set, Niobrara County led for the first time in the match, but it was short-lived.
Back-to-back attack errors by the Lady Tigers tied the match at five, and Kaelyn Riley’s ace gave the Lady Doggers the lead.
Lingle’s lead grew to as many as four before the home team crawled back into the match, tying the score at 18 apiece.
Another attack error by the Lady Tigers put the Lady Doggers back in front as the visitors’ lead grew to as many as four in the closing moments of the match.
“I see five missed serves in the third game. It was unnecessary, but it’s something we will work on like we do every night,” Clark said. “It gives us a few more points at regionals. They were good matches, and I like playing the 2A schools because it makes us better.”
Lingle (16-7) is the top seed at the Class 1A East Regional Tournament Friday and Saturday in Newcastle. The Lady Doggers will face Midwest (9-13) at 9 a.m. in the opening round in the team’s bid for a spot in the 1A State Tournament.