Challenge Awaits Lady Plainsmen Volleyball on Senior Night
With a conference regular season title already in hand, the Laramie Lady Plainsmen close out their home schedule versus No. 3 Cheyenne East Tuesday night.
Laramie (25-4, 10-0) is coming off road wins over Cheyenne South and Thunder Basin last Thursday and Saturday. LHS swept the Bison 25-18, 25-23 and 25-18. Junior Jennifer Aadland and senior Maia Edwards had 13 and nine kills, respectively. The match in Gillette against the fourth-ranked Thunderbolts was a tough five-set victory. Scores were 25-15, 14-25, 25-21, 20-25 and 15-8. Senior Katie Welniak led the way with 15 kills and 15 digs. Edwards had 12 kills, while Aadland added 10 kills and 15 digs.
Those two wins combined with two losses by the Thunderbirds means the Lady Plainsmen clinched 4A East Conference regular season crown ahead of Tuesday's match against East.
Senior night is tonight and highlighted by the recognition ceremony for the five seniors on this year’s squad. They are Edwards, Welniak, Lexi Pulley, Shyann Bastian and Caely Pickerd. They will be honored prior to the varsity match at 6 p.m.
Laramie head coach Rebecca Baker said it will be an emotional time unless I get surprised.
“To see how far they’ve come since that first year that I got here with them, I tell people about it all the time. It just blows my mind to see physically, mentally, the things we can handle now that we struggled with then. To be honest, they’re good kids. They care; they want to give everything. They take what I say and apply it. It is their credit that they’ve gotten as far as they have.”
Senior Caely Pickerd describe the group as strong.
“We just like all love each other, and we’re really tight. We’re a great group of girls that, just like, want to be better. We always push ourselves, and we push each other. We hold ourselves to higher standards than everyone else.”
Plenty of tears will likely be shed, but after that a tough match against the Thunderbirds lies waiting.
Baker said at practice Monday, she has reminded the team the focus is still on volleyball.
“There’s still a lot of season left to play after tomorrow (Tuesday), so I think we’re going to celebrate ‘em. So happy that they’re a part of this program, but I’m hoping that we can keep the main focus on what it should be.”
The Lady Plainsmen beat East in a five-set match in Cheyenne on Sept. 28. The Thunderbirds are coming off a pair of losses at Sheridan and Gillette last weekend.
Laramie concludes the regular season at Cheyenne Central Thursday before they host the 4A East Regional Volleyball Championships Oct. 27 and 28. State is just over two weeks away in Casper.
Lady Plainsmen Swimming and Diving
For the first time in program history, the Laramie Lady Plainsmen won the Gillette Invitational Saturday at the Campbell County Aquatics Center.
Laramie won three events and finished with 467.5 team points. That was 18 better than runner-up Sheridan and 110.5 ahead of third place Green River.
Sophomore Olivia McPherson won the 50 and 100 freestyle races, while LHS also was victorious in the 200 freestyle relay. In fact, the Lady Plainsmen set the meet record in that event by .04 second with a time of 1:41.14. They added three new state qualifiers and has 20 on the season.
Laramie will host the 4A East Conference Championships Thursday and Friday at the LHS Natatorium.