Sep 28, 2013 - By Craig Blumenshine, Staff WriterWith a 5-1 weekend record and wins over every Class 4-A team it faced, the Riverton High School girls volleyball team won the silver bracket division of the Casper Invitational volleyball tournament played at the Casper Events Center on Friday and Saturday.
Gillette beat Casper Natrona in the championship of the gold bracket Saturday to win the overall title.
Riverton began the tournament Friday with wins over Sheridan 2-1 (19-25, 25-23, 15-9) and Laramie 2-1 (25-21, 17-25,15-10) before falling to Class 3-A favorite Rawlins 0-2 (25-19, 25-9) to take the top seed into the silver bracket.
The Wolverines beat Kaycee 2-0 (25-11, 25-8) and Big Horn 2-1 (23-25, 25-20, 15-10) in their first bracket games Saturday.
In the championship match against Cheyenne East, Riverton continued to "have an issue with starting games and playing to our level right from the beginning," said RHS head coach Adrian McNamee.
Riverton took eight points to get started in the first game against Cheyenne East, according to McNamee, and the Wolverines were up 13-8 in the third set before the T-Birds worked their way back into the match to make it close.
"We let them back in and gave them hope, which is not the best thing to do," McNamee said. "But, we got the victory, and that's good."
The Wolverines received good news this weekend when senior Hailey Snell returned to the lineup for the tournament after getting injured earlier in the year.
"Sometimes it's hard getting an injured player back sometimes," McNamee said. "You are trying to figure out how do they fit back in and change up the team to see how the team fits back with them. This was a really good weekend for her to come back. We played a lot of games, and by the time we got done with the end of the tournament, we have a rotation that will be a lot more solid."
In the championship match, Kaitlin Koehn had three aces, Kiley Ridgway had 10 kills, Hailey Snell had five kills, Koehn had 15 assists and Courtney Olson added five assists, Ridgway had 13 digs and Brooklenn Thompson added nine digs. Jensyn Pettit led Riverton in blocks with six.
"Overall, this was a step forward, and we should be a stronger team from now on," McNamee said.
The Wolverines (3-2 Class 4-A West) will return to the home court Thursday for an important conference match against Casper Natrona. Riverton beat NC on its home court Sept. 21 in a five-set thriller. Game time Thursday is set for 6 p.m. in Wolverine Gym, and there is no fee to attend.
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