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Shoshoni prep for run at fourth straight state VB slot
Shoshoni High School senior Erika Eckley passed the ball Thursday afternoon during volleyball practice. Photo by Bruce Tippets

Shoshoni prep for run at fourth straight state VB slot

Aug 30, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor

In 2012, the Wranglers placed fourth at the state tournament.

SHOSHONI -- Coach Christina Mills has guided the Shoshoni Wranglers to three consecutive Class 2-A state volleyball tournament appearances in her first three years at the helm.

In 2012, the Wranglers placed fourth in the state field in Casper.

"It has been exciting to watch this program really start to pick up speed and do some great things," Mills said. "Last year was a tremendous year. We are young this year, but I feel like they really know what they want. They want to step up to that."

Shoshoni has been putting in some grueling hours working on different parts of the game.

"They were very successful in junior varsity," Mills said. "They were also very successful playing against the young ladies that we had last year."

SHS has 21 girls challenging each other for playing time.

"I'm really excited to get the season going," Mills said. "We have a great group of girls. They are a solid group. They have been working hard."

The two seniors are are Erika Eckley and Michelle Tarango.

"We only have a couple of seniors and a few juniors," Mills said. "The rest are all freshman and sophomores."

Mills said the preseason practices are critical if the Wranglers want to return to Casper.

"We are just trying to figure out where people fit best and figure out our team chemistry," Mills said. "These players have at least played together at junior varsity for the last couple of years. They know each other."

SHS starts the season Friday and Saturday at the Douglas Invitational.

"It will be important to go against some good caliber teams to see where we need to make adjustments and how quickly they can adjust," Mills said.

New offense

"I'm asking for them to play in different positions based on what the needs are," Mills said.

SHS is putting in a quicker offense this season.

"We haven't got to do as much of that in the past," Mills said.

Ball control is always important to Mills.

"I have some girls that are trying to pass the balls to get it to the setter so we can load our offense," Mills said.

Early schedule

SHS played Worland, Glenrock and Buffalo on Friday in the first day in Douglas.

All three play at the Class 3-A level. SHS is in the Class 2-A West conference.

"I made sure that we would have a big 3-A tournament to go, so I can kind of test these girls," Mills said.

Mills said Shoshoni, Thermopolis and Tongue River are the only 2-A schools at Douglas.

"I want to see them playing really good defense and getting an opportunity to set up an offense," Mills said.

Shoshoni's first home match is at 6 p.m. Thursday vs. Burling-ton.

"I always wish to have a few more tournaments so you can make adjustments before you play at home," Mills said.

"I'm always glad to see it's not a conference game to get things set up."

Burlington plays in the 1-A level.

"Burlington is always a worthy important," Mills said.

Shoshoni High School 2013 volleyball schedule

Aug. 30-31 at Douglas tournament; Sept. 7 vs. Burlington, 6 p.m.; Sept. 13-14 at Big Horn Invite; Sept. 21 at Thermopolis tournament, TBA, Sept. 27 vs. Kemmerer, 5 p.m.; Sept. 28 vs. Big Piney, 2 p.m. ; Oct. 3 vs. Wyoming Indian, 6 p.m.; Oct. 3 at Wind River, 6 p.m.; Oct. 4 vs. Farson, 5 p.m.; Oct. 11 at Kemmerer, 6 p.m.; Oct. 12 at Big Piney, 1 p.m.' Oct. 15 at Wyoming Indian, 6 p.m.; Oct. 17 vs. Wind River, 6:30 p.m.; Oct. 18 vs. Powell, 4 p.m. Oct. 19 vs. Lovell, 2 p.m.; Oct. 25-26 at Class 2-A West regional tournament; Oct. 31-Nov. 2 at Class 2-A state tournament.

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