Nov 25, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorAt 5-foot-5, Natalee Goff is one of the smallest outside hitters in Class 2-A volleyball.
But that didn't stop her from becoming the Fremont County volleyball player of the year
Goff, a senior, at Shoshoni High School won the award that as voted by the sports staff from The Ranger, Lander Journal and the Wind River News.
"There are a lot of good players in Fremont County, and just being named one of the best players in the county is a honor," Goff said. "I just tried to focus on my game and my play. To get the award is just awesome."
Goff enjoyed the challenge of showing that her size didn't matter on the court. R00;
"Being an outside hitter at 5-5 is kind of crazy," Goff said. "I worked on my vertical a lot. I got my vertical up so I could jump a little higher get around the block. I tried to do whatever I could because I was so short."
Goff gave a lot of credit to her setter, KayLee Fegler.
"KayLee put the ball where I needed it, so I could hit it," Goff said.
The SHS senior battled against girls listed at 5-10 or 6-0 all season.
"You just put the ball down where you need to," Goff said. "We had a couple of 5-10 or 6-0 girls on our team. They went against me during practice. I had to practice against it from my girls as well. They helped me a lot."
Goff ended her career as a two-time Class 2-A all-state selection.
"It's pretty cool to get all-state a couple of times," Goff said. "I felt very privileged and blessed to get it two years in a row."
Goff said it was an honor to play for SHS volleyball coach Christina Mills the last three years.
"Coach Mills is amazing," Goff said. "She brought our team up. We were struggling. Some girls didn't want to play. She really pulled us together. She made us focus on our goals. She was the best coach ever."
Golf thinks she can take her game to the next level.
"I would love to play volleyball in college," Goff said. "It probably would be more on the line as a defensive specialist. I have gone to a couple of college tryouts. We will just see if an opening open comes up. We will just see if it's meant to be."
"I loved the season," Goff said. "We came together so well. It was fun to play with all the girls."
SHS had one of the most veteran teams in the state with six seniors. The other seniors were Fegler, Kelly McAuslan, Sarah Thompson, Shaide Pingetzer and Kolbi Pickinpaugh.
"It was just really fun to play with them" Goff said.
Goff said the seniors started their career together at the junior high level.
"We played together for eight years," Goff said. "We had a huge bond. Everybody knew where everybody was on the court. "
The Lady Wranglers steamrolled through the conference season with a perfect mark,
"Words can't even describe that," Goff said. "Winning conference was one of our first goals.
SHS was ranked No. 1 in the 2-A volleyball poll for most of the season.
The Lady Wranglers won the 2-A West regional championship match at Bob Carey Memorial Fieldhouse in Lander. SHS outlasted Thermopolis in five sets in the title match.
"The regional title game was way close," Goff said. "The fifth game was tied at 12-12. It could have gone either way.
The ball fell for us a couple of times. We pulled together every time. We just got it done."
SHS took a No. 1 seed into the state tournament last month and went 2-2 in Casper to place fourth.
"The intensity skyrockets at state," Goff said.
At state, Wright upset SHS twice in the span of three days. Wright was the No. 4 seed from the East conference.
Wright won in the opening round and again in the fourth-place match. Both matches went right down to the wire.
"Wright was good," Goff said. "Wright had the height against us. They hit different from what we were used to. I don't know what went wrong."
The wins at state were over Southeast and Thermopolis in consolation play.
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