Lady Rams go 1-2 at regionals, end seasonNov 1, 2016 By Scott Akanewich, Sports Editor
The Dubois volleyballers beat Burlington at the Class 1-A West tourney in Lander, before bowing out against Little Snake River.
The Lady Rams of Dubois came down from the high country on Friday and Saturday for the Class 1-A West volleyball regionals in Lander but, despite a victory against Burlington, failed to qualify for the state tournament in Casper.
On Friday, it was a mixed bag for head coach Tina Baker's club, as a 3-0 (25-14, 25-12, 25-13) defeat at the hands of Cokeville was followed up with a 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-20) victory over the Burlington Lady Huskies.
"Our weekend was a story of Jeckyll and Hyde," said Baker. "We opened against Cokeville on Friday morning after a great week of practice like we'd never played the game before. Our passing was really poor and we just couldn't get any type of game established."
However, the Rams didn't have time to hang their heads because they were right back at it later in the day against Burlington, with whom they had split the regular-season series with during Class 1-A Northwest conference play.
For Baker, the bounce-back from the earlier disappointment was encouraging, she said.
"Thankfully, we rebounded and came back to beat our nemesis, Burlington, in three sets, which was gave us some sense of redemption," said Baker. "We played well in every aspect, took control of the match, and proved once again we were the best team from the 1-A Northwest. I was really proud of how we came out, performed and took care of business. The crowd was incredible and played a huge role, as well. I can't thank them enough for all their support."
Jaycie Wells led Dubois in both Friday matches, with five and nine kills against Cokeville and Burlington, respectively.
Katelyn Suda had five and 11 assists, while Aubry Baker (15) and Amy Grant (17) were the leaders in digs.
Victory against the Huskies set up a match on Saturday against Little Snake River, with only the winner surviving.
Unfortunately, the Lady Rattlers prevailed by a scoreline of 3-0 (25-14, 25-8, 25-7).
Wells again led DHS with five kills and 14 digs, while Suda added six assists.
"They proved too much for us and again. We had a hard time passing their serves," said Baker. "We've made huge strides in improving our confidence levels, but in the end, it came back to haunt us once more."
In the end, all four clubs which qualified for the state event were from the Southwest: Encampment, Farson-Eden, Little Snake River and Cokeville, which didn't surprise Baker, she said.
"The Southwest is incredibly strong this year, and I expect them to go Nos. 1-4 in the state tournament, as well," she said. "It's a tough pill to swallow when there are two teams from the east side that are at state, and we beat one and lost to another by one point, but that's how the ball bounces."
Despite the disappointment of not making it to Casper, the Lady Rams' boss is optimistic heading into next season, she said.
"We have much to look forward to with four returning starters and two other players with a lot of varsity playing time," said Baker. "I'd like to thank all our loyal supporters -- it was a great season and we have much to be proud of."