by marlys good
“We definitely had our ups and downs over the weekend,” said Sara Schlattmann of the Lady Buffs’ 1-3 performance at the Big Horn Invitational.
The Buffs beat Big Horn, 25-13, 25-23, to open Friday’s pool play, but lost the next two matches. A strong contingency from Pine Bluffs upended Greybull in two tough games, 22-25, 20-25, and the Lady Blue from Shoshoni finished them off, 18-25, 19-25.
Saturday’s bracketed tournament was single elimination with Lovell and Greybull battling it out to see who stayed and played and who got packed up and went home.
The Buffs played tough and came out on top in the first game, 25-18. But that was it. The Bulldogs won the next two games, and the match, 23-25, 22-24.
“This was a great tournament,” Schlattmann said, “and it is always competitive. We had a strong pool, which was nice because we had the chance to play some teams that we will see again, both in conference and at the state tournament.”
The Buffs served 89.95 as a team, led by Kendall Wright (94 percent) who missed just three serves in the two days. Ky Sorensen was right up there at 91 percent; Jordan Flitner scored eight aces.
Tatem Edeler led the attack with 23 kills; Flitner had 19 and Sorensen, 18. Senior Shayne Mazur passed 80 percent out of serve receive; teammates Dasha Kelso and Sorensen both passed at 76 percent. Wright and Bailee Stephens contributed 32 assists apiece.
“I think our team was disappointed that they didn’t play better, particularly on Friday. We were just very inconsistent; it was something different each match. We were getting a lot of attempts, but were just not able to put the ball away, or place the ball like we need to – but we are making progress. That will be one of our main focuses this week.”
Coach Schlattmann said she was excited to see the team’s potential and feels it is “in a good place at this point in the season. We certainly have many areas in which we need to improve, but if the girls work hard I feel we can make the improvements needed to win the close matches this season.”
Coming up this weekend is the Thermopolis Invitational. Pool play will be on Friday and Saturday morning, followed by a bracketed tournament. In Friday’s pool the Buffs play Wind River I and Little Snake River. Saturday morning it will be Greybull versus Wind River II and Kemmerer.
This weekend will be a great opportunity for the Buffs to do some fine-tuning before they head into conference play against Lovell on Sept. 22.
The Bulldogs dropped back down into the Class 2A Northwest Conference this year after an absence of several years. It should be a very competitive match.