Sep 5, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorThe Shoshoni High School Wranglers didn't back down against other Class 3-A volleyball schools, placing third Saturday at the Douglas Invitational.
The Wranglers competed the two-day tournament by downing Lander Valley High School 25-17, 21-25, 17-15, in the final match in Douglas.
Douglas swept Jackson 25-18, 25-19, for the championship.
Players on the SHS roster for the tournament were senior Erika Eckley, and juniors Annika Dechert, Tasha Maddock, Raine Pingetzer and Zareesha Mills.
The sophomores are Taylor Robinett and Shayde LeClair. Freshman Tammy Maddock rounded out the team.
"Overall, I was very pleased with my team's performance," SHS coach Christina Mills said. "They played some phenomenal teams who have quality programs and athletes. They competed with each and every one of them."
Before the match with LVHS, Shoshoni lost to Jackson 25-18, 25-19, and beat Worland 25-18, 20-25, 15-13.
"The girls played great defense this weekend and dug some powerful hitting teams," Mills said. "I was also impressed with their team chemistry and ability to communicate well on the court."
Shoshoni got a solid win was a 20-25, 25-22, 15-10, victory over Wright during bracket play.
Wright finished third in the 2012 state tournament, while SHS came in fourth.
"The best match of the weekend was competing with Wright," Mills said. "They only lost one starter from last year, so beating them last weekend was a good indication of where we are as a team and what areas we need to improve."
In the first day, Shoshoni lost to Worland 25-13, 22-25, 17-15 and beat Glenrock 17-25, 25-20, 20-18.
Shoshoni outlasted Buffalo 25-23, 25-27, 15-12.
The 2-1 record put the Wranglers in the gold bracket.
The top teams went to the gold bracket, with the next group going to the silver bracket.
"Anytime you can compete in a higher division and place third out of 16 teams, it says a lot about how well the girls stepped up and competed," Mills said. "It's still early in the season. We have a lot to work on fundamentally. The extra time in the summer has really paid off."
SHS at home
The Wranglers played Burlington Thursday night in their home opener.
"We need to continue to improve our defense and keep the ball playable at all times," Mills said. "These are the two areas that I continuously stress. We had a great first weekend, but we cannot be satisfied with our current level of play if we want to be competitive in 2-A."
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