The quest for a state title begins today for both the Laramie Lady Plainsmen and Rock River Lady Longhorns in Casper.

The 2015 all class Wyoming High School State Volleyball Championships are Thursday through Saturday at the Casper Events Center.

Laramie

After missing last year, the Laramie Lady Plainsmen are back in the field under first year head coach Becky Stewart.

Laramie (14-18) will play Kelly Walsh (26-11) in their first round match at 6 p.m. Thursday.

The Lady Plainsmen are winless against the Trojans this season. Even so, Coach Stewart liked the first round pairing.

“It’s great, because we’ve seen them three times this year, already; which is good because I know what to expect; what to prepare them for. The girl’s aren’t going to be psyched out. They’ve seen them before in Casper at the Casper Invite, so it’s going to be just another match.”

Stewart also was happy that they’ve been in that type of environment thanks to playing at the Casper Invite earlier this season.

“I think honestly we’re going to get them refocused like we did for Regionals… the girl’s did a great job of focusing on the things they needed to focus on, so I think we’re going to use that same mentality this weekend.”

The Lady Plainsmen played all three days at the state tournament two years ago, but the last time they brought home a trophy was 2011.

Rock River

The Lady Longhorns are at State Volleyball in Casper for the first time since 2004.

Rock River (16-8) will take on Encampment (23-1) in their opening match at state. It’s also slated for a 6 p.m. start Thursday. The Lady Longhorns lost their only meeting against the Tigers in September. That was a three-set sweep.

Head coach Heather Alexander says they preparation was business as usual, but she understands it is so special.

“There’s a lot of teams that every year they go to this tournament… I want these kids to experience everything that is the state tournament. They have no clue going in what they’re going to see… It’s going to be so exciting to be a part of this and know that they’ve earned it there.”

Alexander also knows how difficult their draw is against Encampment, who she calls the best team in the state.

“My hope for my girl’s is that they do what I know they can do; step up, make it a game; push Encampment; and just do what they’ve done all year, and enjoy this tournament.”

How rare is this occurrence, according to Coach Alexander, it’s only the second state tournament appearance for Rock River in the last 26 years. The Lady Longhorns have never brought home a trophy, something they’ll shoot for this weekend.