COURTESY OF LONE PEAK HIGH SCHOOL

The Big Horn volleyball team on Sept. 20 traveled to Sheridan to take on the Panthers for a double match. Both teams entered the competition winless on the season and primed for a good battle.

In the first match, the schools traded early leads before the Big Horns pulled ahead. Freshman Bianca Godoy closed out the game by serving an ace on point 24, then sealed the deal on her final serve, leading the Big Horns to win the first set, 25-18.

In the second set, both teams again showed great competitive drive with long rallies. Senior captain Michelle Burger headed to the serving line with the score tied at 16. She rattled off 10 straight points to lead her team to win the set, 25-16.

With momentum in their favor, the Big Horns took to the floor in the third set ready to put the match away. But the Panthers jumped out to an 18-8 lead over Lone Peak. With the Big Horns on the run, it looked like Sheridan would take the set easily.

However, paced by the serving strength of freshman Bella Butler, who rattled off seven serves in a row, the Big Horns pulled together and tied up the game. Marked by a great team effort, Burger then aced five serves in a row and the Big Horns pulled off the comeback victory, winning the set 26-24, and the match 3-0.

After a short break, the Big Horns headed back onto the court looking to repeat. In the first set, Lone Peak came out strong, paced by the serving strength of Godoy and junior Tehya Braun. Each served up six points in a row, and LPHS won 25-14.

The second set was another Big Horn show, energized by the great net play of junior Gabrielle Gasser. Lone Peak pulled ahead early behind solid serving and won the set 25-19.

Coming into the third set, both teams were showing signs of fatigue. After a back and forth match, the Panthers eked out a 25-23 win.

The third set loss invigorated the Big Horns, who came out on fire in the fourth. Braun set the match tone, serving up 12 points in a row and pushing the Big Horns into the lead for good. Lone Peak sealed the win and match 25-12.

“We’ve really been focused in practice on learning how to finish games,” said head coach Sarah Griffiths after the matches. “Tonight’s matches were an awesome opportunity to see that hard work pay off.”

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The Big Horns took on the Gardiner Bruins Sept. 27 in a close and hard fought match in Big Sky. Lone Peak turned it on early, again paced by the strong serving of Butler who rattled off eight early points. From there it was a back and forth game with Butler and Godoy capitalizing on the great setting of junior captain Janie Izzo to win the first set 25–23.

Gardiner jumped out to a quick lead in set two that the Big Horns couldn’t recover from, dropping the set 12-25. Set three was all Lone Peak. With the set tied at 8-8, the stellar serving of Godoy, along with a great team effort, pushed the team to a 15-9 win and gave the Big Horns a 2-1 lead in the match.

In sets four and five, the Big Horns put up a great fight but were ultimately unable to close out the match and lost in five.

“This was a big game for us,” coach Erika Frounfelker said after the match. “We have been improving all season and it was wonderful to see our team perform so well against Gardiner… our strong team focus really helped us to compete well.”

The Big Horns head to Ennis on Friday, Oct. 4 for their next District match up. They play on their home court again on Oct. 11 at 2 p.m. against Manhattan Christian for their homecoming game.