The Saratoga Sun -

Lady Miners head to State for 4th time

HEM netters to face Cokeville today in Casper


November 4, 2020

Jackie Jones, head coach for the Hanna, Elk Mountain, Medicine Bow (HEM) Lady Miners told her team that they had to win their first game against the Lingle-Fort Laramie Lady Doggers or there would be no going to State.

“We had to win that first game against Lingle,” Jones said. “If you lose the first game, you are done. So I told the girls we won the first game that really counted.”

The Lady Doggers have met the Lady Miners twice this season and lost. This meeting had HEM come out on top, but it was not easy.

The two teams met at 4 p.m. on Thursday in Torrington for the 1A Southeast Quadrant championship.

The 1st set went to the Lady Miners 25-19. The 2nd had HEM do even better, 25-16, but the Lady Doggers took the 3rd set 18-25. The Lady Miners pulled it together and took care of business in the 4th set and won 25-17.

Later that evening, HEM faced a team they had lost to earlier in the season. The Southeast Lady Cyclones continued their winning ways against the Lady Miners.

“In all fairness, we were a bit rusty having not played the entire week before,” Jones said. “Still we did not play our characteristic game.”

The 1st set was 17-25, the 2nd set 18-25 and the last one 16-25.

There was a day of rest and HEM was back on the court in Torrington at 2 p.m. to face the eventual winner of the quadrant, the Kaycee Lady Bucks.

The 1st set was the worst loss for the Lady Miners in the tournament, going down 9-25.

“We did not have a team in sync at all,” Jones said. “Which is very unusual for us and it was troubling.”

The next two sets were more competitive, but still resulted in losses. The 2nd set was 15-25 and the 3rd set ended 18-25.

At 4 p.m. the Lady Miners found themselves facing Southeast again.

“Although we didn’t win against them, the glimmer was back,” Jones said. “We played much better the second time we met up.”

Jones is right. The 1st set went 15-25, the 2nd 18-25 and the last set was 21-25.

The HEM coach looks at the losses as a chance to see where the team needs to pull together.

Jones is proud of the group of girls that have been playing together for four years.

“This is the fourth time the team has qualified for state with three of the same girls,” Jones said. “That is no easy task.”

Jones admits that Amy Campbell did get hurt diving for a ball, but stayed in the game.

“That is the way Amy is,” Jones said. “But even on one leg, double figure kills, the entire weekend, I think she missed one serve and she continues to amaze me.”

When A. Campbell was pulled out, Jones said the player was constantly in her ear about going back in.

“That is Amy being Amy,” Jones said. “But I told her it was more important for her to rest and get ready for State.”

She also had praise for Madison Campbell who went from setter to being able to defensively dig.

“Maddie readjusted and became a defenseman and then did her job as a setter,” Jones said. “That is pretty good poise and awareness in order to pull it off.”

Jones knows that the next game will challenge her team.

“We open up against Cokeville in the state tournament and they are good,” Jones said. “But like every single time we play volleyball, I tell the girls we have to worry about our game. I don’t care what the color of the uniform is on the other side of the net, we have to go out and do what we can, whether we win and go forward or lose and we still have a chance on the backside of the bracket.”

HEM will face the Cokeville Lady Panthers at 10 a.m. on Nov. 4 in Casper.


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