Lady T-Birds sweep Thunder Basin

·3 min read

Oct. 17—CHEYENNE — Even with a win against Campbell County on Friday night, Cheyenne East knew it didn't play its best match.

Saturday afternoon, the third-ranked Lady Thunderbirds felt like they cleaned up what they were missing Friday to beat Thunder Basin 25-16, 25-21, 25-23 and improve to 20-5 on the season.

"(Friday) night, I think we struggled with our composure and seeing the block and putting it all together but today, I think we understood what we did wrong (Friday)," East senior Hannah Harrington said. "We went out, fixed what we did wrong, pushed through it and put it all together.

"It was a really good morning and it was great to come out here and put a good game together after last night."

Thunder Basin held its largest advantage of the match early in the first set. The Bolts were ahead 9-5 before an East timeout. Following that timeout, the teams traded a few points until the T-Birds went on a seven-point run to pull ahead 16-12. They maintained that lead and closed the first set on a five-point run to take a 1-0 lead.

Both teams traded rallies throughout the second set before East broke a tie game with a five-point burst, grabbing a 16-11 lead behind back-to-back kills from Harrington. The Bolts took advantage of some East errors and pulled within 20-19. But, the T-Birds closed out the second set behind Jenna Merritt's presence at the net and another kill from Harrington.

"We have to get a little bit better at not letting teams score three or four points in a row when we have the momentum," East coach Nicole Quigley said. "So that's our focus — just keeping that pressure on the other side."

After East was ahead 13-8 during the third set, Thunder Basin went on a five-point run with four of those points coming off East errors. The home team responded, getting two points each from Elysiana Fonseca and Harrington, giving East some cushion.

Joelie Spelts and the Bolts chipped away at their deficit, however, and tied the match at 21-21. But a pair of kills from Merritt and a kill and an ace from Fonseca helped East secure the sweep.

Spelts posed issues for the T-Birds at times throughout the match. She scored the final five Thunder Basin points and finished with 18 kills in the match.

"Before tough games like this, we identify where she is on the court at all times and try to get that stopped before we try and do anything else," Harrington said.

Fonseca finished with a team-high eight kills and Walsh, Merritt and Harrington each had seven. Fonseca also had five blocks and three aces. Merritt finished with four blocks.

East closes out the regular season by hosting Cheyenne South on Thursday and Laramie on Friday where it will look to build some momentum going into the postseason.

"When we put it all together we have the talent for sure, we just have to come day-to-day and work hard at practice and make each other better and when we take care of the little things we're a pretty tough team," Quigley said. "I'm looking forward to a full week of practice and hopefully coming out strong these last few weeks."

Robert Munoz is a writer for WyoSports. He can be reached at rmunoz@wyosports.net. Follow him on Twitter @rmunoz307.

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