By MARLYS GOOD
The Burlington Lady Husky volleyball team made a clean sweep of its three opponents in morning pool play at the Thermopolis Invitational Saturday. Starting with a 21-13, 21-17 win over Rocky Mountain, they went on to down Shoshoni, 21-20-, 21-17 and the Riverside Junior Varsity, 21-9, 21-6, to go into the bracketed tournament as a No. 2 seed. (Lovell had an identical record in its pool so one and two seeds were determined on points.)
In the single elimination tournament Burlington came up against 2A Thermopolis. In a tight three-set match, the Lady Huskies won the first game 25-16, and then lost the second and third sets, 23-25, 13-15.
“We lost our legs,” explained Coach Jerry Patrick.
In the three pool matches, the Lady Huskies played “pretty well and were consistent. We had a few moments when things went bad, but I thought we played well over all; our passing was OK, not great, but OK, and hitting, serving and setting were good. We got some good touches.”
“We played three matches in the morning — then lost our legs in the afternoon. The same thing happened at Big Horn last week, and the same thing happened last year. We should not be tired; maybe if it was at 6 p.m., but not at 2 p.m.,” he added. “When your legs go; it all falls apart. You start reaching for the ball, the approaches are slow and that affects our hitting.
“Thermopolis was in the same boat, so it was kind of a “Powder Puff” match; the hits were soft.”
In the cumulative stats for the tournament, the Lady Huskies served 93 percent, with every athlete serving 90 percent or better. Shelby Nicholson had 26 kills, Janet Davidson 25 and Jessica Stanworth 15.
Davidson had 25 digs, Nicholson, 23 and Sadie Neves, 18. Lady Huskies registered 16 blocks (not a single solo block) with Nicholson credited with nine assists and Stanworth with six.
The Thermopolis match took a costly toll on the Lady Huskies when setter Sadie Neves pulled a muscle. According to Patrick her status for this week is questionable. Patrick said, “She gets the second touch every time, and that is big,” he explained, adding that setters go unsung and unnoticed many times, but are an integral part of a team’s success. And Neves, he said, “is a good one.”
Who will be asked to step in if Neves can’t play, is undecided.
The Lady Huskies traveled to Meeteetse Sept. 15 and recorded a 25-19, 25-8, 25-15 conference victory.
Serving continued to be a strong part of the Lady Husky game as they were at 95 percent. Tia Williams was 24-24, Stanworth, 13-13 and Janet Davidson 6-6.
Stanworth had 10 kills and three blocks; Davidson and Nicholson, five kills apiece; Ashlee Wardell, in a good performance at the net, had five stuffs.
Williams had six digs, and Brinna Jones, five.
“Meeteetse actually played us pretty tight,” said Patrick, noting that in the first set, “it was 17-17 at one point, then we took over at the end.”
Burlington hosts Riverside in matches at 4, 5 and 6 p.m. today (Thursday).
Saturday the Lady Huskies take a long trip south where they’ll play Dubois at noon and 1 p.m., then return via St. Stephens for JV/varsity matches starting at 5 p.m.
Patrick said the team chemistry is good, “The kids get along, support each other and are improving their skills. The make-up to be a contender is there, but we have to continue to improve, and get in better shape so we can play hard, longer.”