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Wolverines fall in volleyball semifinal
Riverton High School volleyball player Kristen Bailey, left, and Kiley Ridgway went for a block on Friday afternoon during the McDonalds Invitational. Photo by Wayne Nicholls

Wolverines fall in volleyball semifinal

Aug 26, 2012 - By Craig Blumenshine, Staff Writer

After a long day of Friday pool play, one thing was for sure. The 2012 edition of the McDonald's Invitational volleyball tournament in Wolverine Gym was packed full of teams that were nearly equal in playing ability, which made for a long day and night of volleyball. RHS head coach Adrian McNamee left the gym at 12:30 a.m. Saturday after a day of close matches.

The Wolverines advanced to Saturday's bracket play as the top seed from their pool with only a 6-4 pool play record with two wins over Thermopolis (25-22, 25-10) and splits with Tongue River (25-20, 17-25), Pinedale (25-12, 20-25), Sheridan (25-14, 21-25) and Wright (25-18, 21-25).

"I was fairly pleased, but we figured quickly that there are some things that we need to work, but I think overall that the biggest thing we need to work on is consistency," McNamee said.

Riverton started bracket play Saturday by defeating defending Class 2-A state champion Wright in two games (25-8, 25-16) before falling to Cody, the defending Class 3-A state champion, in the semifinals (21-25, 22-25).

Defending Class 4-A state champion Sheridan was ousted in the first bracket round by Class 3-A Lyman who also knocked off Tongue River and Rock Springs to reach the championship match against Cody.

"Lyman has an outside hitter who has a heck of a swing," McNamee said.

Late Saturday afternoon, Cody beat Lyman (25-15, 25-20) to win the McDonald's title.

For the Wolverines, who begin Class 4-A conference play Thursday at Casper Kelly Walsh, it is a high level of play that the coach hopes the team can sustain.

The Wolverines knocked Kelly Walsh out of last year's state tournament after losing the first two games but stormed back to win the next three.

McNamee hopes that her team can use that game to capture confidence.

"We passed well at times, and I think our serving is pretty aggressive," McNamee said. "We can't go up one game and kill a team and let them beat us the second game. We have got to be able to put two away, actually three away in a row, and move on."

After Thursday's match in Casper, the Wolverines will head to Gillette on Friday and Saturday for their second tournament of the season.

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