by marlys good
The Greybull Lady Buffs opened conference play with a three game victory over Riverside Thursday night, 25-13, 25-10, 25-12. Greybull kept the Rebels off balance in all three games with both their serves and their hitting attack.
“The girls stayed very focused and played well,” said Coach Sara Schlattmann. “I was very proud of them.”
Schlattman said serving was the key. The 92 percent for the team was led by Brett Stephens who was a perfect 22 of 22 with four aces. Aftin DeRosa and Britney Fink were also perfect from behind the line. The Buffs also registered 25 kills and four blocks in the three games.
Greybull had just a day to savor the victory before they headed over the mountains to the Big Horn Tournament.
The Buffs shared a pool with Kaycee, Burlington, Tongue River and top-ranked Wright. The format was two games to 25. The Buffs got off to a good start by beating Kaycee, 25-13, 25-18 and Burlington, 25-16, 25-21. Tongue River proved to be a tougher opponent and the Buffs lost the first game, 8-25, but grabbed the momentum and won the second game, 25-19. In the culmination of pool play Saturday morning Greybull faced Wright, a “very solid team currently ranked first in the state,” according to Schlattmann. The Panthers lived up to the hype and beat the Buffs, 13-25, 15-25.
“We did some really great things, rallying, digging and working very hard. We just had a few mental lapses, and got ourselves in a hole we couldn’t dig out of,” Schlattmann said.
The pool record gave the Buffs an eighth seed into the bracketed tournament. Schlattmann noted, “This is the first time we have ever made it into the top bracket in this tournament since I have been coaching,” she aid.
Unfortunately, Wright was the top seed in the top bracket and the Buffs had to face them in the first match. The results were almost exactly the same as in pool play with Wright winning 13-25, 15-25.
“We struggled in our serve receive and that caused us to get behind early and we were not able to recover. We now know what the top competition looks like and we will continue to work on the details so we can compete and win these matches come tournament time.”
The Buffs host Rocky Mountain in 4, 5 and 6 p.m. matches today (Thursday, Sept. 19). Saturday it’s off to Thermopolis for a 16-team tourament.