The Saratoga Sun -

Lady Miners gain experience

Young team goes 1-4 at Saratoga Invite, coach proud–but says improvement needed


Coach Jackie Jones of Hanna-Elk Mountain-Medicine Bow (HEM) High School’s Lady Miners did not know how her extremely young team would fair at the Saratoga Invitational, but she was very encouraged with what she witnessed on Friday and Saturday.

“I feel the girls played some of the best teams in the state this past weekend. We learned a lot about ourselves, and we know we have work to do in the long season ahead of us,” said Jones.

The first team the Lady Miners played in the invitational was Farson-Eden’s Lady Pronghorns, where the Lady Miners lost (25-15, 25-13). The Lady Miners did better on their next outing against Encampment’s Lady Tigers, scoring 25-20 and 25-13.

The last game on Friday the Lady Miners played was against St. Stephens’ Lady Eagles. HEM won, although it was not easy, scoring 26-24, 22-25 and 25-21.

“The young girls stepped into new roles and did a fantastic job. It was a good start to our season,” said Jones.

On Saturday, the Lady Miners lost to Saratoga’s Lady Panthers 25-14 and 25-13 and then later Little Snake River Valley’s Lady Rattlers beat the Lady Miners 25-6 and 25-4.

The losses on Saturday did not bring down the team.

“I was really happy with how we played,” Caitlin (Cloe) Olson said, a Lady Miner who is in 11th grade. “I was really surprised at how well we did and I think we are just going to get better and better.”

Olson’s assessment is similar to Jones.

“It was great for the girls to pick up a win at the tournament, especially considering there were many times in that game when we had four freshmen on court,” Jones said.

She knows playing Saratoga again this week will not be easy. “We know we have a tough opponent in Saratoga this Friday. They work hard and are a scrappy team,” Jones said.

She acknowledges there will have to be some improvements with her young team.

“We are focusing on a better serve receive game this time around, and that will allow us to do more with our offense,” Jones concluded.

Friday’s game will start at 4 p.m. at Saratoga High School.


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