Lady Cougars win Big Horn tourneySep 13, 2017 By Scott Akanewich, Sports Editor
Wind River's volleyball squad defeated Greybull in the championship match.
Suffice to say, the Lady Cougars of Wind River have left behind the lackadaisical start they had to this fall's volleyball season.
After losing their first seven matches of the new campaign, the Lady Cougars have stormed back with a vengeance, the latest evidence of this being a victory at the Big Horn Invitational last weekend.
A field of 15 teams awaited the Purple-and-Black when they arrived in Glenrock for the event and head coach Jamie Lockhart's club did well on Friday, advancing to Saturday's gold bracket.
Which was when they really got down to business.
The Lady Cougars began Saturday with a victory against Burns, 2-0 (25-14, 25-19), then followed that triumph up with another over host Glenrock, 2-1 (18-25, 26-24, 17-15).
From there, they advanced to face the Lady Buffs of Greybull, whom they put to the sword by a scoreline of 2-1 (20-25, 25-22, 15-13).
But, the resurgence began on Sept. 1, when they won three matches at their own tourney, the Wind River Invitational, behind solid play from Kodi Anesi, Jaylynn Fightingbull, Gaby Wall and Skye Sanderson, who have all continued their current run of good form.
The Lady Cougars have now won five consecutive matches to pull its record back from the brink at 5-7, as they prepare to embark on Class 2-A Northwest conference play.
However, first up is one more tournament, the Thermopolis Invitational, on Friday and Saturday.
The Wranglers of Shoshoni also played at the Big Horn, but without the same success.
Lady Blue was defeated by Tongue River on Friday, 2-0 (25-22, 25-11) in a match which saw Whispe Pingetzer collect six kills, while senior Brianna Thompson had nine assists and 12 digs.
On Saturday, Shoshoni faced Glenrock and lost a tough, three-setter, 2-1 (25-20, 15-25, 15-12).
Lefty Ashley Steffen had 10 kills and 12 digs, with Thompson providing an amazing 32 assists on the match.
The Wranglers closed out their tournament with a 2-0 (25-23, 25-16) loss to Burns.
For the season, Steffen now had 90 kills to lead head coach Christina Mills' club, while Kianna Pierson has 62 and Whispe Pingetzer 58.
Thompson has 244 assists and Steffen and Whispe Pingetzer each have 106 digs to lead Lady Blue in that department.
Shoshoni (3-8) will play at the Thermopolis Invitational on Friday and Saturday.
The Lady Eagles of St. Stephen's were runners-up at the Meeteetse Invitational after losing the championship match to the host Lady Longhorns, 2-0 (21-13, 21-11).
Earlier in the tournament, the Lady Eagles defeated Burlington, 2-1 (12-21, 21-17, 15-13), then lost to Meeteetse, 2-1 (9-21, 21-16, 15-8) and beat Wyoming Indian, 2-1 (14-21, 24-22, 15-9).
St. Stephen's (4-7) will open Class 1-A Northwest conference play against Dubois at home on Friday.
The Lady Chiefs downed Ten Sleep, 2-0 (21-16, 21-12) and Burlington, 2-1 (21-15, 21-10) for a pair of wins at the Meeteetse tourney.
Wyoming Indian (3-11) will play at the Thermopolis Invitational on Friday and Saturday.