CASPER, Wyo. — The Torrington volleyball team captured its first state championship in school history by rallying past Star Valley 18-25, 25-20, 23-25, 25-22, 15-13 in the final match of the Wyoming 3A state tournament on Saturday in Casper, Wyo.
Facing a one-set deficit twice during the match, Torrington responded both times.
With the match even at two sets each, the Trailblazers took charge in the fifth and deciding frame by moving out to a quick 8-4 lead in the race to 15 points. However, Star Valley ran off four in a row to pull even at 8-8.
The hard-hitting teams traded kills over the ensuing few points before Torrington pulled out to a 13-10 advantage. Star Valley closed to within a point on two different occasions, but Torrington senior Shai Schaefer blasted home the winning kill on the Blazers’ first match point.
Like she’s done all season long, Schaefer rose to the occasion when it mattered most for Torrington, as had five kills and two blocks in the deciding set. Schaefer also had the deciding kill to cap off the fourth set in Torrington’s favor.
Torrington was making its third straight appearance in the state tournament. The Blazers were playing in the state-title match for the first time in 33 years.
After winning the 3A East Regional Tournament last weekend, Torrington entered the state tournament as the top seed out of the East Regional. The Blazers opened state play with a three-set sweep of Lyman on Thursday before disposing of Powell in Friday’s semifinals in four sets.
Star Valley was playing in its second straight five setter on Saturday after the Braves escaped with a five-set win over Douglas in the semifinals.
In the 1A state title match on Saturday, Lingle-Ft. Laramie earned a runner-up finish after falling 25-23, 25-12, 25-15 to Cokeville.
The state title was the 19th in school history for Cokeville. The Doggers were making their first appearance in the championship since 2006.
Lingle-Ft. Laramie senior Dallie Forkner led the Doggers with six kills in the final. Kylah Meyer added five kills. Shaylee Rickard finished with seven assists and nine digs. Kassandra Aguallo led Lingle-Ft. Laramie defensively with 18 digs.
The Doggers will graduate only two seniors off their team.
Lingle-Ft. Laramie advanced into the championship after beating Burlington in five sets in the opening round and downing Hulett in four sets in the semifinals.