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Riverton staggers Gillette in 4-A tourney opener

Lady Wolverines fight to fourth place in 4-A state volleyball tourney

Nov 4, 2013 - By Craig Blumenshine, Staff Writer

The Riverton Lady Wolverines bounced back after a tough first-round loss to eventual state runner-up Gillette and defeated Casper Kelly Walsh 3-2 and Cheyenne East 3-1 to reach the third-place match in the Class 4-A state volleyball tournament in Casper.

In the trophy match, Riverton fell to Cheyenne Central 3-2 Saturday but still claimed the fourth-place trophy as the tournament wrapped up at the Casper Events Center.

Casper Natrona, which Riverton swept during their regular season Class 4-A West conference matches, dominated Gillette 3-0 to claim the state Class 4-A championship Saturday evening.

"I am a pessimist by nature, but for once I feel real optimistic with what is going to happen in our future. I'm really pleased. There is a sense of satisfaction. You always want to end the season with a win, but I feel really satisfied that our girls came to state and blew a lot of teams out of the water because they didn't think we would show up. We had a really great state tournament," Riverton High School head coach Adrian McNamee said.

Against Kelly Walsh Friday afternoon, the Lady Wolverines dropped the first set 25-27 but won three of the next four 25-17, 16-25, 25-17, 15-12 to put the powerful Lady Trojans out of the state tournament for the second time in the last three years.

"As Thursday night wore on, our kids got pretty ready to go. Our girls were physically and mentally prepared to win. There were a couple of times Haley (Snell) said in the huddle, 'Girls we are not going to lose. We are here to win. Let's go!' and the girls rallied around her," McNamee said.

Snell and Kiley Ridgway each had 12 kills, and Jensyn Pettit tallied seven kills. Ridgway had a triple-double, adding 14 blocks and 10 digs.

Saturday morning, Riverton took Cheyenne East down in four sets 25-12, 21-25, 25-13, 25-20.

Kaitlin Koehn had 24 assists, and Brooklenn Thompson had 23 digs. Ridgway had eight blocks and Kenisha Muehler had seven. Ridgway led the team with 14 kills, and Snell added 10.

The Lady Wolverines fell to Cheyenne Central in the third place game in five sets 17-25, 17-25, 25-23, 25-18, 9-15. Thompson had 14 digs, and Kirstee Trees added 14. Courtney Olson had two service aces.

"Our seniors -- Haley Snell had an amazing weekend. Kaitlin Koehn did well too. We have a lot of offseason summer camps and open gyms. Anytime you can get your hands on the ball is a good thing."

RHS returns most of its starters next season.

"We need to make sure we work with intensity. I want to see them playing and in the weight room," McNamee said.

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