Oct 18, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorSHOSHONI --Senior Erika Eckley and her Shoshoni High School Wrangler teammates were determined not to have a repeat of what happened the first time they played Wind River on the volleyball court.
Earlier this month, Wind River beat Shoshoni 25-12, 26-24, 25-22 in Pavillion.
The tables turned Thursday, however, with the Wranglers sweeping Wind River 26-24, 25-18, 25-20 in Shoshoni.
"It was a huge win, because we lost to them the last time we played them," Eckley said. "We know that Wind River is good competition. As a team, we put the first match with Wind River in the past."
Eckley is the only senior this year for the Wranglers.
Wind River and Shoshoni are fighting for a second seed in the Class 2-A Southwest division.
WRHS has two conference losses and SHS has three.
"Anytime you get a conference win is a big win," SHS coach Christina Mills said. "We played well against Wind River. It was good to see that we came back."
The match was the third one of the week for SHS.
The Wranglers lost to Powell on Monday, but beat Wyoming Indian on Tuesday in Ethete.
Shoshoni 3, Wind River 0
"We just had to have a lot of energy," Eckley said. "We practiced hard all week. We changed our rotations. We still were able to step up and play and win."
The Wranglers came out with the energy they needed from the opening point of the match.
In the first set, SHS was up 20-12 and held off Wind River by two points for the win.
SHS kept the lead in the second set with a 18-13 advantage.
The Wranglers registered the seven-point win.
"It was very important to get off to a good start," Eckley said. "If you have a lead then you get up and you are encouraged."
SHS never let up in the third set for the sweep.
"The big thing is that we kept the momentum," Mills said. "We got rid of some of our unforced errors. We got some serves that we needed at some critical times."
After Eckley, Mills played juniors and sophomores on the court.
"We are very young team," Eckley said. "This team is so strong. They always step up and play. I have so much faith in them. They are awesome hitters."
The Wranglers and Cougars will close out the regular season with important matches.
Shoshoni hosts Lovell on Saturday in a non-conference match.
Lovell is one of the top-ranked teams this year in Class 2-A.
"I know that we are really looking forward to the match with Lovell," Mills said. "This has really been a tough week from the matches. We did that on purpose. We did that to help us prepare for regionals."
Wind River plays in two big conference matches at Big Piney and Kemmerer on Saturday.
The Class 2-A West regional tournament is Friday and Saturday at Bob Carey Memorial Fieldhouse in Lander.
The top four teams from the Class 2-A West regional tournament make the state tournament in Casper.
"We just have to be strong," Eckley said. "We have to want it. We can't make mistakes. We have to pass well and hit well."
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