Torrington Wins First Volleyball State Championship In 5-Set Thriller [VIDEO]
Kevin Koile – wyopreps.com
Highlights of the Volleyball Class 3A State Championship Match, between Star Valley and Torrington.
Scroll down to watch the highlights of the game!
Trailing 2 games to 1, the Lady TrailBlazers would rally, to take home their first volleyball state championship trophy.
There are many keys to success in a game…skill, speed, endurance, experience…and sometimes you also need that 7th person in the stands that believes.
Star Valley vs. Torrington in the 3A state championship match…first game…Star Valley on the far side of the net…Shelby Brog making a statement on that kill as the opposition could not dig it up…the Lady Braves are up 10-to-7.
But Torrington would stick to their game plan…Shai Schaefer…the birthday girl…finds the back corner of the floor to pick up the point for her team…and they only trail 10-to-8.
The senior knew where the sweet spot on the floor was and she did not always have to use full force to get the ball there…this play would allow the Lady TrailBlazers to tie the score at 10-all.
This was a good back and forth match overall…and so was the first game of course…Brog just knows how to hit the ball in a way that the other team is unable to dig it back up…Star Valley goes back up by a score of 11-to-10.
The Lady Braves had some defense as well…when you have 3 girls guarding the net…that’s a challenge. Shay Schwab got credit for the block. The Lady Braves needed every point that they could get, because the lead is a slim one…it’s 16-14.
Now a good highlight is always one where one team sets it up and the other team knocks it down. Avery Madden will help herself to a free gift and Torrington would knot up this game again at 16-points a piece.
Later…Schwab is serving…not quite sure what happened on that play but the ball almost hits the camera…that’s an ace regardless…the Lady Braves go up 19-17.
Star Valley made it this far with only 2 seniors…that says a lot for the core unit that will be back next year. Here’s Brog again adding to the cause to give her team a 22-18 advantage.
Let’s see who else we can get in here…how about Michelle Pierson? Gets a kill to go right through 2 defenders for the point as the Lady Braves would eventually win the all important first game…25-to-18.
Game 2…Star Valley on the right…and in a bit of a hole early on. Lexi Erickson is one of those 2 seniors that I was mentioning earlier…and you’re going to see a lot of kills like that, before these highlights are done. Her team trails 7-to-3.
They were trying to get into this one and thankfully it was early…Brog will find Schaefer’s favorite spot and return the favor for another point…the Lady Braves were slowly getting closer, down 8-to-4.
Torrington tried a new strategy…find the open spot in the middle of the defense and put the ball there. Taylor Frazier gives the ball a light lift to put the ball where it’s supposed to go, and it worked. That would open up a little breathing room, with her team leading 10-4 good buddy.
We’re going to skip ahead some in this game…Star Valley was hanging around and they stayed within striking distance. Erickson was just starting to heat up with plays like this and her team is only down by 3…it’s 21-to-18.
The Lady TrailBlazers were living up to their name on this one…Schaefer will blaze her own trail right in front of 2 defenders and gets the ball to drop. That will earn her team a point and they are up 23-to-18 at this juncture.
But the opposition was not going to go down quietly…especially not when Erickson has several mean swings left in her. She had to get that one…the Lady Braves still trail 23-to-19.
Torrington would tough their way through it and they were rewarded. Madden’s kill is deflected but the ball will fall in the right direction…as her team wins the second game, 25-20, to tie the match at 1 game each.
On to game 3…the Lady Trail Blazers are on the far side…they pass the ball to Kailee Adams and by the time the defense figured it out…it was too late and she gets a point for her team…although they are down 6-5
Star Valley would keep their composure…Erickson makes it look like it’s just another day at the office, and the opposition had no answer for that kill. The score is tied at 7.
Skipping ahead some…Frazier has another ace up her sleeve and she’ll play it on the opposition…Torrington is back on top by a score of 17-15.
But the Lady Braves had a trump card and it was called Erickson…she’s going to spike that ball all the way to underworld…and her team is right back in this one, trailing 17-16.
Then the birthday girl decided to make her wish and blow out the candles…she’s putting an ace into Star Valley’s face and her team increases their lead to 19-16.
But the opposition would come back…Brog is going cause trouble by sending this ball into the corner and her team goes back up 24-23.
Now that they have the lead, they just have to hang on to it…Brog will take care of that issue and the Lady Braves win game 3, 25-23, and lead the match 2-games to 1.
Now in game 4…Star Valley on the left and trailing…Schwab was being a little sneaky on this play. That was not 3 hits but it does not have to be…her team is down 14-10.
Then the defense would show up…Erickson is the tallest person on her team at 5 foot 11…that makes her a pretty tall defensive force…the Lady Braves are still down 14-11.
Torrington would regroup…Christian Bila’s kill attempt is blocked, but she put just enough on it to get the ball to drop on the other side, as her team would hang on to the lead…16-13.
But back comes Star Valley…they did not want this match to go 5 games…Erickson again…and this ball almost made its way into the upper balcony. That is how you can tell how hard she’s hitting the ball, and her team is only down 17-16.
The Lady TrailBlazers needed some breathing room, because they DID want this match to go 5…Madden was strutting her stuff after this kill…the lead is up to 3 at 19-16.
However Schwab would eventually serve again…and she always keeps an ace in the hole for such an occasion as this…he team was hanging around, down 21-19.
Thankfully for Torrington…they decided not to let the opposition get any closer. Madden is spiking the punch at the party this time. Her team needed that one, as they are up 22-to-19.
And then Schaefer would find another sweet spot…and just like the previous highlight…the ball would go to almost the same spot. It’s been a long match, and we have to play one more, as the Lady TrailBlazers win game 4, 25-22, to tie up this match at 2 games a piece.
We’re now in the 5th and deciding game…Torrington is on the near side…Shaefer is going to raise the roof…the opposition was not invited to the party. We’re tied at 1.
Star Valley was going for the kill early…and I mean that literally…Erickson again…bringing the house down…we never got the stats, but she had a really good game and her team is leading 2-to-1.
But the East regional champs would meet the west champs blow for blow…Schaefer is going to counter…she had the birthday cake before the match, not after and maybe it helped. The score is knotted up at 2.
Now this one was just good defense…a 3-person wall…and it’s not going to get by…Bila gets the credit for the block, and that would put her team up by a count of 3-to-2.
The Lady TrailBlazers were making their move…Madden is going to tease the boundary line and keep the ball in-bounds…now they have the score doubled up at 8-to-4 and they were feeling it.
But a good match also has a good rally and here it comes…Brog…bringing it down…almost takes the camera with…I don’t think she was aiming for it, but that was close…the score is 8-to-5.
Things were getting better and easier for Star Valley…this is Jennifer Hardy at serve…and the opposition will mis-handle it for an ace…they were getting closer, down 8-to-6.
And it’s not a comeback unless you tie the score or take the lead…Brog kills one with authority and that’s going into the audience. We have ourselves a brand new game…it’s an 8-all affair.
We were getting to the point of this match where the team that wanted it more was going to win…Schaefer makes her case for the Lady TrailBlazers and they were being careful not to get too excited…up 14-to-12.
The Lady Braves needed some points and they needed them now! Erickson has at least one more hard kill left in her and she gets it in, in spite of the traffic in her way…her team still needs a few more like that, down 14-13.
Now winning a state title is motivation enough…but Torrington had something else to play for in addition. The girls were out to win the school’s first ever volleyball state championship. That was the birthday gift that Schaefer wanted and she went out and got it herself…of course it wasn’t just for her.
Torrington finally takes home a state title…beating Star Valley in a 5-game thriller…18-25, 25-20, 23-25, 25-22, and 15-13.