The Lady Braves were shorter, less experienced and downright young on a lot of their lineups but when their first match was over they knocked off Gillette in five games. Cokeville rode a raucous early-morning crowd to rally from one game down to a 3-1 victory over Preston.
At times, the Lady Braves were playing three sophomores and a freshman to go along with a pair of juniors in their varsity match with the Lady Camels. True to her word in Thursday’s edition of the Independent, Head Coach Brandy Taylor shuffled lineups often as she tested her young squad.
The Lady Braves staved off a late game one collapse as they edged the purple squad, 26-24. They also took game two, 25-18. Gillette bounced back, cutting back on numerous errors in the first two games to take game three, 20-25.
Game four was tied at 15 all before the Camels drove Star Valley backward and ended the stanza with a 22-25 cushion.
With all of their early momentum now gone, Taylor got her troops ready for game five which was all Star Valley by building a 9-2 advantage our of the gate. The Lady Braves collected the win, 15-7
As for Cokeville, the Lady Panthers came up on the short end of a game one score, before absolutely obliterating Preston in the next two games by a combined 50-18. Cokeville was buoyed up by their infamous volleyball crowd, and even the Alta High squad as they claimed game four.
The Lady Panthers showed just why they are one of the favorites more often than not in Wyoming’s 1A Class, going all out on loose balls and sacrificing their bodies for the betterment of the team. Brian Toomer’s squad was also superb at the net as they won three straight games with more ease than not.
The Lady Braves will face Alta beginning at 3:30 this afternoon and then Bear Lake at 6 p.m. to round out day one of the tournament and pool play. The teams will play a bracket tomorrow to determine the champion.
For a detailed account of the Lady Braves’ Cokeville experience, be sure to read the September 4, 2008 edition of the Independent.