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Wranglers sweep Wind River
Wind River's Josee Vogel tried to get the ball past the block by Kolbi Pickinpaugh of Shoshoni on Thursday at Pavillion. Photo by Randy Tucker

Wranglers sweep Wind River

Oct 12, 2012 - By Randy Tucker, Sports Writer

PAVILLION -- The volleyball match was over so quick they barely had time to get the popcorn made in the concession stand. Shoshoni concluded a perfect regular conference season with a one-sided rout of rival Wind River in three games.

The Wranglers took the match 25-14, 25-12, 25-12 to lock the top seed in the upcoming West 2-A tournament next weekend in Lander.

Shoshoni dominated the net and set the tone of the contest behind an overpowering performance by seniors Sarah Thompson, Natalee Goff and Kolbi Pickinpaugh.

The Cougars didn't have an answer to Shoshoni's power game and played on their heels the entire match.

"We came to play," Shoshoni head coach Christina Mills said. "We did some things that we worked on all week in practice."

The Wranglers have a final non-league game with Lovell on Saturday in Big Horn County while the Cougars host Kemmerer and Big Piney in key matchups that will determine Wind River's place in the regional bracket.

A sweep gives the Cougars the second seed while a split or a pair of losses could send them as low as the pigtail game to get into tournament play.

The opening game Thursday saw the Wranglers roll into the lead via their power game with Annika Dechert and Kaylee Fegler setting the ball well. Kelly McAuslan served the ball with authority and played solid defense throughout.

The Cougar offense was much more passive, lobbing the ball over the Shoshoni blockers and playing well off the net for much of the match.

Macayla Arrington and Josee Vogel were able to slow Shoshoni's attack with good blocking, but it wasn't enough as the Wranglers found the open spots in the Cougar defense on most possessions.

The second and third games featured early runs to big leads by Shoshoni behind a long series of serves from Dechert, Fegler, McAuslan and Pickinpaugh along with key points set by serves from Erika Eckley.

Thompson dominated the contest early and altered the Cougar offense in the second and final games with intimidating play above the net.

Shoshoni opens tournament play at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 19 at the Lander Valley High School auxiliary gym.

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