CHEYENNE – Consistency was at the forefront of Cheyenne East’s success Thursday night.
The No. 3-ranked Lady Thunderbirds had few instances where miscues would alter the game as they rolled to a 25-20, 25-17, 25-21 win over Cheyenne Central on Senior Night.
“Overall it was a great team-effort win ... it was a pretty consistent night,” East coach Nicole Quigley said. “Alison (Crock) was super consistent and Kiera (Walsh) came out ready to go … I was super happy the way they came together and played for each other.”
East (18-5 overall, 3-1 Class 4A Southeast Quadrant) started the contest on a 6-1 run – including three kills from junior Elyisana Fonseca. Fonseca finished with a game-high 16 kills on the night.
Central put together a small rally, however, and only trailed 10-9 before the T-Birds gradually chipped away and took a 1-0 lead in the match.
Unlike the teams’ first matchup of the season, Central was moving the ball better and not allowing East to get anything easy.
“We passed better, we made more plays and our defense was awesome,” Central coach Jessica Bratton-Vega said. “Our blocking has been getting better and I thought we were consistent in that, too. I can’t be upset about any of that.”
The Indians (6-18, 0-4) built an early 5-0 lead in the second set, mainly behind that defense allowing them to get quality swings off. After the five-point deficit, East called a timeout and scored 11 of the next 13 points and closed out the set on a seven-point run, with the final three points coming on two Fonseca kills and a kill from Hannah Harrington.
Senior Kiera Walsh carried that momentum in the final set when she had four consecutive service aces which helped East take a 10-1 advantage.
Central didn’t fold over, though, and took advantage of a few East mistakes and found some offense and the T-Birds suddenly only led 21-20. The Indians didn’t have anything to lose at that point and were just playing their game.
“We had the talk before this game and it was time to play for each other instead of playing individually,” Bratton-Vega said. “And I think they went out there and all played for each other on the court instead of thinking ‘What can I do?’ … when you plan unconscious like that, good things happen.”
East called a timeout with the one-point advantage, regained its composure and scored the final four points to complete the sweep.
“We came together when we were making our mistakes,” East junior libero Boden Liljedahl said. “We would turn it around and put a ball down and from there we just kept getting more and more (balls) down and building off what we just did.”
Walsh added nine kills for East and Crock had 25 assists. Harrington had seven kills and 14 digs. Kelsi Warner paced Central with five kills and added seven digs and Lydia Looby posted 10 digs.