State Bound

Encampment High School Volleyball will compete in State


courtesy Mary Martin

Noelle Peterson spikes the ball past defending players from St. Stevens.

Encampment High School girls' volleyball went to Lander over the weekend and fought for a place in state finals, defeating anyone unfortunate enough to face the Lady Tigers at the regional meet.

The Lady Tigers took on two old foes at the meet, Baggs and Cokeville, and also faced off against St. Stevens, all of whom found themselves on the business end of a loss against the netters from Encampment. The Lady Tigers won all three matches over the weekend and only gave up two sets during that stretch.

The Tigers netted these wins despite the fact that one of the team's ace players, Paige Powell, who was out all last week with a knee injury, returned to play for the final set of the first match. Not only does this highlight the team's ability to adapt, but according to the team's coach Robin O'Leary, Paige Powell moved and played well-which is good news for the team in Casper at State Finals this weekend.

In Lander Friday, the Lady Tigers' first opponent was St. Stevens, which the team readily dispatched in three sets with scores of 25-14, 25-9 and 25-4. Lauren Buford, a sophomore, filled in for Paige Powell during this match and performed quite well according to O'Leary.

"All of our players got playing time during the game and did very well," O'Leary said. "Lauren Buford has been doing a fantastic job in the middle for us while Paige (Powell) has been recovering."

For the second match Friday, the team took on Little Snake River and defeated the Rattlers in four sets, scoring 25-21, 25-17, 24-26 and 25-23.

"We made a few adjustments during practice this week to try and stop Baggs from scoring as much and the girls did a great job making those changes," O'Leary said.

The team, as a whole, delivered 56 digs against the Rattlers and 49 kills. Paige Powell delivered 17 of the kills with McKenzie Powell hitting 14. The Tigers' defeat of Little Snake River qualified the team for play in State Finals in Casper.

The Girls' final game of the weekend was against Cokeville Saturday. Again, the team won in four sets, with scores of 25-23, 25-14, 22-25 and 25-23.

"We only missed one serve as a team this game which really helped," O'Leary said. "Cokeville started blocking us in the third game which caused us to evaluate how to be successful against it. We were able to come from behind and in the fourth (set) and capture the win."

During the game, the team delivered 41 digs and 52 kills, with 22 of the kills and eight of the digs delivered by the recovering Paige Powell. Sierra Martinez, another Encampment heavy-hitting senior had 16 serves with once ace, three digs and 44 assists.

The Encampment girls' team walked away from regionals in Lander not only having earned the privilege of defending their 2015 championship in Casper later this week, but they came away with first place in regionals.

The State Finals will be held Nov. 3-5 in Casper, and the Saratoga Sun will be there to cover the action.

courtesy Mary Martin

Paige Powell bumps the ball up as McKenzie Powell readies for a hit.


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