VAN — The Van Junior-Senior High Lady Bulldogs (3-6) played an inter-county volleyball match against the visiting Sherman High Lady Tide (8-5) on Oct. 1, with each squad coming off losses in their previous matches.
Set one started off with a lead established by the Lady Dogs, though Sherman never stayed too far behind. After reaching the double digits, Sherman began to quickly rack up points, eventually taking a 15-13 lead. Within two more of their possessions, Sherman took the first set 25-16.
Sherman looked to be the dominant team in the second set, with a commanding 10-5 lead. With nine points gathered on one possession, the lead became an insurmountable one for the home team as the Lady Tide won the second set 25-10.
Van came out of the gate in set three looking more confident, taking a 7-3 lead. However, Sherman made up for the deficit by creating an 11-point streak that put them up 14-8. From there, the Lady Tide comfortably won the third set 25-13 and returned to Seth having bested their rivals.
Sherman coach Terri Dawn Williams said she was pleased with the way her team handled Van’s offense.
“Van does a really good job of placing the ball and tipping the ball over, and I thought we covered really good,” Williams said. She complimented the efforts of several Sherman girls, including sophomore Kenzi Rinchich, junior Caraline Nelson and senior Autumn Thompson. Lady Tide setters, freshman Baylee Snodgrass and junior Opal Toney, additionally made noticeable contributions.
Williams’ main concern with the girls’ play was that the team would want to be careful about falling behind early in future matches. With the Tug Valley Tournament coming up for Sherman, the win against Van undoubtedly motivated them.
Van coach Stephanie LaFauci expressed the necessity of being mobile on the court and shifting to offense, adding “We were playing defense the whole game.” The team’s need for backrow players has given freshmen the chance to slot in, but LaFauci hopes to see the team return to the more consistent start they had to the season.
“I saw a lot of good things out of the young kids today,” says LaFauci, “They just haven’t had enough experience to know where to move, who to move, who to pass to; that’ll come with time.” With seven seniors and eight freshmen, the younger players will need to be prepared to take on larger team roles when needed.
Van (3-7) will host Wyoming East (5-6) on October 9 at 6 p.m. Sherman (9-5) plays at home against Buffalo (12-6-4) on Oct. 10 at 6 p.m.