WHEATLAND – The Wheatland High School Lady Bulldogs hosted this year’s regional 3A east volleyball tournament and faced tough competition in Newcastle and Douglas, both of which were in last year’s state tournament. This year three of the east state qualifiers are back in Buffalo, Douglas and Newcastle.
The new kid on the block this year is Wheatland.
The WHS Bulldogs finished strong this past weekend.
“Friday morning in front of the entire student body, the lady Bulldogs pulled through and capped off a scrappy Glenrock group in 3: 25-8, 25-17, 25-12,” said head Bulldog volleyball coach Sally Nichols. “The Herders did their best to stop the front line with solid blocking, but a few adjustments and strategically placed shots by our gals helped the Bulldogs prevail. The crowd was electric for a 10 o'clock match, but it launched our ladies to a strong regional tournament.”
After watching and studying the opponents, the Bulldogs knew that their next opponent would be a tougher match than the morning match. The two teams had met Oct. 8 and the Bulldogs came away with a 3-1 victory but it was a fight all the way.
“Friday evening was a battle,” Nichols said. “The Dogies were new and improved and wanted to get Newcastle to state. But WHS was not going to back down. With a 1-2 set start, the gals had to dial in and pursue a victory. Hitting errors and nerves were getting the best of the group, but determination to get to State and the Championship match in their sites, fueled the fire!!! WHS became electric! The cardiac kids pulled through in 5 sets and punched their ticket to the State Tournament. The match ended: 21-25, 25-22, 18-25, 25-12, 15-7.”
The girls would revel in the victory but not for long as although they had been guaranteed a seed in the state tournament, their goal was to win both the regional title and an easier game in the first round at Casper later this week.
“Saturday was dejavu,” Nichols said. “It was a 5-set heater. Without an empty seat in the house, the lady Bulldogs took on the Douglas Bearcats, and put on a show in the fifth set taking it 15-4. As parents and fans were praying to the volleyball gods, the gals got to work. The song, "I get knocked down but I get up again..." was reverberating through the Bulldogs minds. With strength and courage, the Bulldogs dug, blocked, served, and hit their way to victory: 25-18, 18-25, 26-24, 16-25, 15-4. The Bulldogs earned one more school song, the student section joined the team on the court and chanted, celebrating the Regional Championship.”
The Lady Dogs will travel to the Wyoming state volleyball tournament as the No. 1 seed in the east and will open play against the west’s fourth seed, Worland. Wheatland is 25-8 while Worland is 14-18-1.The The game will begin Thursday evening at 7:30 p.m. at the Ford Events Center in Casper and the Lady Bulldogs will be playing in front of sections 117 and 118. With a victory, the girls will play in the second round on Friday at 6 p.m.
Hadley Paisley bumps a set to the net in the Wyoming 3A east regional volleyball tournament. The Bulldogs defeated Glenrock, Newcastle and Douglas to win the regional crown.
Senior Kendall Schaffner continued to return stinging spikes to Douglas in the regional final game. Schaffner who missed both her freshman and junior seasons due to injury was a senior leader that was automatic in her attack on opponents.
Lily Nichols goes high over the net anticipating a return, but the shot fell into the net and it turned out to be the final point of the 2022 regional tournament hosted by Wheatland High School. The Lady Bulldogs walked away with the 3A east regional championship.
The final game of the regional tournament went five sets in a very emotional game. Following the game, the crowd flooded the court and players were seen hugging one another. Pictured is junior Annaliese Matthews embracing sophomore Desirae Iacovatto.
Regional medals are being handed out to the victorious Lady Bulldogs after having defeated Glenrock, Newcastle and Douglas for the regional title.