RAWLINS – The Torrington Lady Blazers took fourth out of 16 teams at the Rawlins Invitational over the weekend, winning seven of 12 sets that they competed in.
In pool play, the matches were two sets, regardless of the outcome. Torrington started the weekend with a two-set win over Thermopolis. The Lady Blazers also split sets against both Star Valley and Cody.
The four sets that the Lady Blazers won earned them a spot in the gold bracket with the top eight teams from Friday’s pool play. Torrington was matched against Mountain View to open the bracket. The Lady Blazers dropped the first set 21-13, before rallying to win the next two sets (21-19, 15-13) in the best of three match.
In the semi-finals, the Lady Blazers squared off against Worland. They forced extra points in the first set, but eventually fell 22-20 and dropped the second set, 21-13. The loss put Torrington in the third-place match against Riverton. The Lady Wolverines won the first set, 21-16, followed by a second-set win by Torrington, 21-13. In the decisive third set, the Lady Blazers fell 15-5.
“I think the biggest takeaway is the confidence that these girls gained,” coach Chelsi Jackson said. “The bracket we ended up in is every team we should see at state and these girls proved they are just as good as everyone they face.”
Torrington had two powerhouses at the net in Logan Murphy and Adia Sherbeyn. Murphy paced the Lady Lancers in kills over the weekend, with 50, while Sherbeyn added another 26. Although Sherbeyn did not lead the way in kills, she was the team-leader in digs (60) and aces (13). Murphy helped out in both categories, contributing three aces and 34 digs.
“Logan and Adia are the captains of our team so it is a great advantage for us to have them be able to take over when they need to,” Jackson said. “The best part about them is that they know they are powerhouses, yet they let their teammates know that they are more than capable of doing the same things and constantly pushing everyone and themselves to continue to grow and get better.”
Helping out Sherbeyn and Murphy at the net was Ashley Schlagel, Nakalyn Garner and Brielle Bivens. Schlagel was third on the team in kills, with 12, while Garner and Bivens combined for 16. Garner led the team in blocks, with four, while Schlagel and Bivens each had one.
In the back line, Taylor Walsh, who also had six aces, racked up 38 digs, which was second for Torrington. Katelynn Wright helped out in the assist department, recording 34 over the weekend. She paired her assists with four aces.
The Lady Blazers now sit at 4-7 on the young season. With their win over Wheatland earlier this fall, Torrington is atop the quadrant as the only team with a win against a quadrant foe.
Torrington takes their talents to Gering, Neb. on Thursday for a triangular starting at 4 p.m. The Lady Blazers also hit the road for Thermopolis this weekend. They are set to compete in the Bobcat Invite starting Friday at 4 p.m. and Saturday at 9 a.m.
“(The team is) right on schedule as far as how I was hoping they would progress,” Jackson said. “Every day they come to practice ready to go and give me their all, knowing it’s going to be hard but definitely worth it.”