Punchers start conference season with win

Robert Galbreath photo

ST. STEPHENS – Starting the weekend off with a bang, the Big Piney volleyball team trounced St. Stephens in the first conference game on Friday, Sept. 3. The Punchers dominated the first set with an 18-point margin and never looked back, scoring a 3-0 victory.

That afternoon, Big Piney entered the second tournament of the season hosted by Wyoming Indian and Wind River high schools. Games alternated between sites on Friday and Saturday.

St. Stephens

Junior Shelby Guest set the momentum in the first set serving up three points. Senior Hanna Hansen spiked points eight and nine over the net, assisted on point nine by senior Jocie Banks.

St. Stephens pulled out a point and were answered by a hit from junior Hannah Runyan. Junior Lexi Hoffman kept the pace going for the Punchers when she slammed point 14 across the court.

Senior Sierra Keiter spiked over point 20 and scored game point off a set from Banks.

When the dust settled in the first set, the Punchers led on the scoreboard, 25-7.

St. Stephens scored first in the second set before Runyan replied with a pair of kills. An ace by Runyan widened Big Piney’s lead to six points.

Hansen shot over a volley of serves, carrying Big Piney to 19 points. Hits by Hoffman and Keiter took the Punchers over 20 points and Banks served up game point. The Punchers won the second set, 25-6.

Guest opened the third set with four serves. Keiter spiked over point six and tapped in point seven. Hansen, Runyan and Hoffman maintained the offensive with one powerful spike after another.

A block by senior Lena Hatch took Big Piney to 22 points. St. Stephens managed to get in a few points late in the set before loosing possession. Guest sent an ace sailing over the net for point 24 and served game point for the Puncher win, 25-8.

Wyoming Indian/Wind River Tournament

Minutes after wrapping up the game against St. Stephens, the Punchers were back on the bus for two days of action at the second tournament of the season hosted by Wyoming Indian and Wind River.

Competition primarily consisted of 1A and 2A schools from western Wyoming.

Due to the holiday weekend, scores for most games were not available at press time. The only game posted by Monday was the match against 1A Little Snake River. Big Piney fell in two close sets, 25-21 and 25-16.

The Puncher volleyball team will be on the road to take on Mountain View on Thursday, Sept. 9. Freshmen play at 4 p.m., followed by junior varsity at 5 p.m. and varsity at 6 p.m.

On Saturday, Sept. 11, the team plays Wyoming Indian High School in the first home game of the season. Junior varsity hits the court at 12 p.m. followed by varsity at 1 p.m.