Buffs place 4th at State; fall to Sundance in semi-finals

By Marlys Good

Conference champions, runners up at the West Regional tournament and fourth place at the State 2A tournament. A great season for the Greybull Lady Buffs.

Coach Sara Schlattmann said “I felt like our girls played some of their best volleyball when it counted the most. I am super proud of this group of girls; it has been such a great season.”

Greybull opened state action facing Big Horn; they were focused and aggressive and beat the Lady Rams in four sets, 25-19, 25-21, 17-25, 25-18.

Serving was excellent, 95 percent as a team, and Schlattmann said, “This statistic is one that usually indicates how our match will go.” Not missing a serve were Brittany Ogg, Julia Roberts, Ky Sorensen and Kendall Wright. Payten Sorensen was right there at 94 percent, including four aces. In other stats, Ogg had 19 digs, K. Sorensen 18, and Tatem Edeler, 16.

Edeler led the attack with 10 kills; Ogg put down eight and K. Sorensen seven. Kendall Stephens had five. Wright and Roberts had 17 and 15 assists, respectively.

Coach Schlattmann said the Buffs had a balanced attack, “which I thought was the difference in the game. When we get all our hitters involved, we are generally more successful.”

Greybull ran into a buzz-saw in Sundance when the two teams met in the semi-finals Friday. Sundance, who went on to claim the 2A state title, stuck the Buffs in three sets, 17-25, 14-25, 16-25.

Buffs slipped to 83 percent from the service line and Schlattmann said, “As has been the case many times this season, our unforced errors had us playing from behind the whole match.” Between serving and attacking/blocking errors, the Buffs had 38 miscues. Schlattmann said most of the attacking errors came with an aggressive block.

“At any rate, it wasn’t our best performance,” Schlattmann explained.

Notable was the 100 percent serving by Roberts, Wright and Shayla Cheatham. K. Sorensen had eight kills, Edeler six and P. Sorensen five to go with nine digs. Wright had 13 assists; Ogg had nine.

Most of the stats were “off,” and Schlattmann gave the credit to a tough Sundance team.

The loser-out game Saturday it was all-or-nothing for Greybull when they took on Wind River, a team they had met several times during the season. This one was hard-fought but Greybull prevailed in three sets, 25-22, 25-18, 25-20.

Edeler led the attack with a season-high 17 kills; K. Sorensen had eight, Stephens, Wright and Ogg had six apiece. K. Sorensen paced the defense with 11 digs; Edeler and P. Sorensen had eight apiece. Wright had 22 assists.

Roberts was perfect from the service line; in 18 attempts she didn’t miss a single one while serving up two aces. Also perfect from the line were Ogg and Cheatham.

Schlattmann said the Buffs were focused, determined and dominated the Cougars. “I was impressed with their performance; by far it was the best of the tournament.”

Big Piney and Greybull had met in the battle for the West Regional championship, and it was déjà vu with the Punchers downing the Buffs in four sets, 23-25, 20-25, 25-13, 19-25.

Schlattmann described the Punchers as a “solid team with a lot of experience (seven seniors).” Greybull’s serving was a healthy 93 percent with Roberts (five aces), Wright and Edeler at 100 percent; Kaylyn Burns and Ogg served 93 percent.

“Where we struggled a bit was in our serve receive passing and our unforced hitting errors (30). Our girls knew that was the difference in the match. But they never quit. We just allowed a few too many runs throughout the match.”

Edeler had 15 kills; K. Sorensen had 12 and Ogg, six. P. Sorensen had a season-high 25 digs “and just played outstanding in the back row.”

The loss gave Greybull fourth place. Schlattmann said, “From my recollection this is the best (finish) since 1999 when the Lady Buffs placed fourth.”

Schlattmann said it was a great season. She gave credit to reserves Cheatham, Burns, Avery Howe, Hannah Klitzke and Kylin Stephens saying, ”You can’t have a successful season with just a few players. These girls kept our practices competitive and that makes a big difference.”

She also praised her assistant coach Michaela Williams. “She does a great job. I don’t think our JV girls lost a match in regular season action. She must have one of the best records over the last four years.”

She also noted that the parents and the community have been very supportive. “We are very fortunate to have such great people.”

Look for great things from the Buffs next season. They lose Ogg, K. Sorensen and Roberts, who leave big shoes to fill, but they have talent and experience right down the line and should be in the State mix again in 2018.