Oct 10, 2012 - By Randy Tucker, Sports WriterSHOSHONI -- Shoshoni locked up its second consecutive Southwest 2-A championship Tuesday night with a convincing three-game sweep of visiting Wyoming Indian.
The Wranglers took the match 25-13, 25-20 and 25-9 to continue their unbeaten streak against teams from the western conference.
It was senior night at Shoshoni ,with ceremonies taking place before the match to honor the seven senior volleyball players and the team manager. The extended festivities may have had an effect on the match, as the Wranglers did not play their best in either of the first two games.
"We tried a new defense in the first two games, and it was senior night," Shoshoni head coach Christina Mills said.
The first game opened with both squads serving the ball squarely into the net, and play improved only marginally through the game, with Shoshoni winning easily 25-13.
In the second the Chiefs played much better and led the Wranglers for much of the match until Shoshoni regrouped to rally to a 25-20 win.
In the third game Mills changed defenses back to their usual scheme and it worked well as Shoshoni blew past Wyoming Indian.
Kelly McAuslan and Annika Dechert served well in the final game, tallying six and seven straight serves, respectively, to lead the Wranglers to the 2-A Southwest crown.
Shoshoni is in the midst of an amazing season, sweeping the entire conference in three-game matches aside from one 25-23 loss to Wind River at home earlier in the year.
The Wind River Cougars host the Wranglers this Thursday in Shoshoni's final conference tilt of the regular season.
In all, the Wranglers have played a four-set match just twice this season, once to the Cougars and once in their only loss of the year to Class 3-A Powell in Park County.
Only the top seed from the Southwest is determined at this point. Wind River and Kemmerer are tied for the second seed, with the Rangers playing at Wind River and Wyoming Indian this Saturday in games that will determine the final tournament seeding.
Big Piney plays opposite Kemmerer at Pavillion and Ethete as well on Saturday.
Wind River could finish anywhere from second to fourth, depending on the outcome of the final three matches on Thursday and Saturday.
Shoshoni opens tournament play next Friday in the auxiliary gym at Lander Valley High School at 11:30 a.m. against the fourth seed from the Northwest.
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