By Jan Moody
The Lady Panthers are back on top winning the 1A State Volleyball Title in Casper this past weekend. This makes 26 State Team Titles for the Lady Panthers! The team was led by six incredible seniors and one junior Libero with Head Coach, Kristen Vierig and Assistant, Tanya Moyes at the helm. These girls have played together since they were in Junior High. They were a well oiled machine with some height (unusual for Cokeville), some incredible hustle and a determination to put Cokeville back on top. These
six seniors were freshman when Cokeville last held the crown so they were eager to be part of history as one of the best!
Their season had its ups and downs as they learned and grew as a team competing against teams much larger to improve their skills and build their team unity. They had unity and you could feel it and see it when they took the court. They new they could win and they knew they were dependent upon each other for success.
The Lady Panthers entered the tournament with the number one seed from the West as they edged out the Lady Rattlers for the Regional Title in five sets the week before. The ladies had Guernsey-Sunrise for their first match and won easily in three sets, 25-7, 25-13, 25-9.
Friday evening they matched up against the number two seed from the East, the Lady Cyclones of Southeast. They were tall and they were strong. The Lady Panthers took the first set in a hard fought battle 25-21. The Lady Cyclones came back and stole the second set 20-25. The Lady Panthers owned the third set 25-14 and battled for the fourth to take the win 25-21. This win earned the Lady Panthers the right to compete in the championship game against the Lady Rattlers for the 2023 1A State Crown.
This was the fourth time these two had competed against each other this season. The Lady Rattlers were hungry as the Lady Panthers had just edged them out in the Title game the week before. It was a fight for every ball but the Lady Panthers were determined and played their hearts out. Every set was close with the last one going down to the wire but the Lady Panthers got the sweep 25-21, 25-20 and 26-24. The crowd erupted as the last ball went down! It was amazing to feel the Panther pride and
school spirit that still rages through every Panther and Lady Panther. We are proud of you girls on and off the court. You represented yourself, your school and your community in a positive way! Congratulations!
Quote from Coach Vierig
“This season’s end goal has obviously been a state championship and these girls have worked hard every day to achieve that. Watching them grow and improve together as a team has been super fun to experience. They truly improved each and every week and never settled for just being good….they wanted to be great! At the end of the regional tournament weekend we knew they were playing their best volleyball of the season and it was amazing to see them carry that into the state tournament.
Everyone in our program played a part in preparing for that championship game on Saturday and their hard work paid off with a sweep of our season rivals. ‘The Power of Us’ was our season focus and they showed just how powerful you can be when you work together for a common goal. Our six seniors definitely had a season they won’t soon forget and we have more talent waiting for their turn to continue Cokeville’s winning culture.”