The Laramie High volleyball team finished the preseason nonconference portion of the schedule at a perfect 11-0 after going 5-0 at the Gillette Invitational last weekend and a sweep on the road Tuesday at Rawlins.
The Class 4A defending state champions, which went undefeated last season at 25-0, won the gold bracket of the Gillette Invitational by beating Natrona County (25-11, 25-10), Rapid City Stevens (25-8, 25-10) and Kelly Walsh (25-15, 25-20).
In pool play the day before, the Lady Plainsmen defeated Glenrock (25-10, 25-10) and Big Horn (15-11, 25-10).
“It was tremendous for Laramie volleyball,” LHS coach Jill Stucky said. “We were much improved from our first weekend of play. I’m extremely proud of our balanced offense. All of our hitters had huge contribution and it was a reflection of our great passing and ball control.”
For the weekend, six LHS hitters had double-digit kills, led by Alexis Stucky, who recorded 56 kills, 44 assists and nine aces. The other five hitters ranged from 20 to 12 kills. Maddy Stucky led the team with 66 assists to go with 18 digs and eight aces. Anna Gatlin had 20 kills.
Taylor Tyser (28 digs), Anna Sell (22) and Halley Feezer (20) led the defense with Feezer also having 15 kills.
“We had great success with everyone contributing to our wins,” Maddy Stucky said. “Our passers kept us in system so we had fun running our offense.”
The Lady Plainsmen then beat Rawlins 25-13, 25-4, 25-7 on Tuesday. Alexis Stucky led with 15 kills, Maddy Stucky with 12 assists, Tyser with nine digs. LHS also had 10 aces with Maddy Stucky’s four and Alexis Stucky’s three.
“In (Tuesday’s) game, it showed how our hard work over the last couple of weeks really paid off,” Noel Jensen said. “We came out strongest … and will continue to grow as a team every week.”
The Lady Plainsmen have some time to prepare before East Conference and Southeast Quadrant action begins. The next match is scheduled for Sept. 16 at Cheyenne East.
SWIMMING AND DIVING
The Lady Plainsmen swimming and diving team, which are four-time defending 4A state champions, picked up its first duals wins of the season and won an invitational last weekend on the road.
But it wasn’t easy in a double-dual at the Campbell County Aquatic Center. LHS beat Thunder Basin easily with a score of 150-33, but also had its closest dual in recent memory with a one-point win against Campbell County at 93-92. The win came down to the final event — the 400-yard freestyle relay.
“Campbell County won nine of the 12 events and I knew they would be tough on the top end, and they absolutely were,” LHS coach Tom Hudson said. “We had to win the 400 free relay and also get third place (in that event) to win by one point, which is exactly what happened. We showed a lot of heart at the end of the competition to pull that off to keep our winning streak alive in duals for almost five years.”
LHS diver Natalie Six won the 1-meter diving with 240.5 points, followed by teammate Mallorie Hamel at 204.55 for second place. Anna Roesler won the next event by claiming the 100 butterfly in 1 minute, 1.70 seconds.
The Lady Plainsmen also picked up a couple of state qualifiers when Michelle Shoales made it in the 200 individual medley in 3:32.56 (2:33.50 needed) and Braley Smith in the 500 free in 6:04.03 (6:10.00 needed).
Hudson said the Lady Plainsmen had a better outing during the Kelly Walsh Invitational by winning in convincing fashion with 608 points. Cheyenne Central was second with 511, followed by Campbell County (312), Kelly Walsh (277), Douglas (194), Thunder Basin (124) and Natrona County (9).
“It was a lot better day as far as scoring with our depth being able to shine through and picking up a couple of wins we hadn’t expected,” Hudson said.
In addition to multiple top three performances, Ashlyn Mathes won the 200 free in 2:03.32 and the 500 free in 5:36.51. Roesler won the 100 free in 54.31, and Six and Hamel went 1-2 in diving again with 250.40 and 221.60 points, respectively.
The Lady Plainsmen will next host several duals as part of the Cheyenne Invite at 4 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. Saturday.
The Plainsmen and Lady Plainsmen celebrated their seniors last Saturday while hosting duals against Green River and Rock Springs.
The LHS boys and girls lost to Green River and beat Rock Springs with identical 3-2 (vs. Green River) and 5-0 (vs. Rock Springs) dual scores.
The Plainsmen No. 2 and No. 3 doubles teams won both of their matches on the day. The LHS No. 2 team of Declan O’Conner and Kyler Russow won 7-5, 6-4 against Green River and 6-2, 6-4 against Rock Springs. The No. 3 team of Gavin Baker and Gage Hepworth beat Green River 6-4, 7-5 and the LHS team of Macoy Callihan at Helpworth won 6-2, 6-0.
Much like the similar dual scores, it was the No. 2 and No. 3 doubles teams for the Lady Plainsmen that won twice during the duals.
LHS’ Abby Kersey and Cassy Wulff beat Green River 7-5, 6-2 and Rock Springs 6-1, 6-2. At No. 3 doubles, Elise Gerdes and Hannah Peterson beat Green River 4-6, 6-0, 6-0 before the No. 3 team for LHS switched to Paige Christensen and Emma Wookey for the 6-1, 6-3 win against Rock Springs.
The LHS tennis teams will next play at 4 p.m. Friday in Torrington.
The Plainsmen and Lady Plainsmen golf teams competed in a unique format last week at the Riverton Match Play Invitational at the Riverton Country Club.
There were six 16-person brackets — four boys and two girls — based on each golfer’s season scoring averages. Each player competed in four matches.
Plainsman James Trask (88-92-180) was the winner of the “Jordan Spieth” flight and teammate Colter Harvey (94-89-183)was second in the “Justin Thomas” flight. Lady Plainsman Grace Kordon (109-101-210) won the “Lexi Thompson” flight.
The LHS boys and girls are competing at the 4A West state qualifier tournament today and Friday at Purple Sage Golf Course in Evanston. The top 20 individual golfers, in addition to individuals from the top four teams who are not in the top 20 will qualify for the 4A state tournament, which will be Sept. 18-19 in Jackson.