2A Volleyball Review
It took Big Horn a dozen years to get to the top of the mountain in Wyoming High School volleyball as the Rams prevailed over Sundance for the 2A championship in a thrilling 5 set match. Sundance lost the first two sets and Big Horn showed some big-time fortitude by taking the 5th and deciding set 15-11. The Rams were a #1 seed coming into the state tournament and there was no shortage of enthusiasm when they were on the court. Big Horn had an all-state performer in freshman Emme Mullinax and sophomore Emma Prior. They're two all-conference selections, Saydee Zimmer and Kate Mohrman were sophomores so the Rams are going to be good for a while. Big Horn was 23-12 in 2021 with just 2 seniors on that squad.
Sundance was the two-time defending 2A state champion and they knocked off heavily favored Riverside in the semi-final round in 4 sets. The Bulldogs lost to Big Horn in the 2A East regional final in 5 sets so those two teams played some entertaining matches. Making the all-state list for Sundance was Tyrianna Holloman and Cana McInerney. Those two were seniors among six on the team. They'll have to reload in some respects but the program is one of the strongest in 2A.
Riverside was the state runner-up a year ago and the Rebels had a very good chance at winning the state championship. But a semi-final round loss to Sundance ended that but the Rebels still placed 3rd with a straight-set win over Moorcroft to finish 34-4. The Rebels put some serious talent on the floor with back-to-back all-staters in Caroline Schlattmann and Vaidyn Vanderploeg. In the all-conference ranks, Riverside is represented by Vinaya Vanderploeg, Layla Davis, and Braelyn Kozisek. This was a tough team to beat but both of their all-state players in 2021 will be seniors in 2022. Two of their all-conference players will return as well so Riverside will be one of the favorites to win it all next season.
Moorcroft came to Casper for the state volleyball tournament for the first time since 1987. The Wolves took 4th in 2A this year going 2-2 at state and ended up with a record of 24-11. This was a solid team with Camlyn Connelly earning all-state honors with Char Cranston and Kailee Glll getting all-conference designation. This team has more than enough talent next year to be competitive and then some.
Rocky Mountain won 22 matches and lost 15 in 2021 and went 1-2 in the state tournament with a win over Shoshoni and losses to Moorcroft and Riverside. This was a productive team at the net with senior outside hitter Josey Steed making the all-state list. Two of her teammates Victoria Arnold and Kaitlyn Christensen were all-conference. Arnold and Christensen return next season so the Grizzlies should be pretty good. They'll lose just 2 seniors.
Tongue River earned a 4th place finish at the 2A East regionals but the Eagles did go 1-2 at the state tournament. Carleigh Reish was named to the 2A all-state team and won 3 events at the State Track Meet back in May. She is a supreme athlete and was among a half a dozen seniors on the 2021 volleyball team that finished 16-13. The Eagles will have some work to do in 2022.
Big Piney surged into the state tournament with a 3rd place finish at the 2A West regional and punched their ticket to state with an exciting 5 set win over Wyoming Indian. The Punchers lost to Sundance and Tongue River in Casper to finish 15-19. There weren't too many teams out there that had 4 all-conference players but Big Piney was one of them. Seniors Josey Banks, Hanna Hansen, Sierra Kelter, and junior Hannah Runyan made that list but the Punchers will have to replace some key personnel for 2022
Shoshoni made the state tournament after a rough regular season. But the Wranglers beat Wind River and Greybull to earn a trip to Casper. Shoshoni ended up losing to Rocky Mountain and Big Horn so wrap up the season with a record of 8-24. Seniors Emma Chrichton and junior Haley Donelson were all-conference selections.
We have a few extra photographs from the 2A State Tournament so please take a look at those in our gallery below!