The Douglas Lady Cats are beginning to establish themselves as front-runners for the state championship.
The team came into the weekend with a 4-1 record and added three more victories to the total, with wins over Wheatland, Newcastle and Big Horn at home.
They began the day with a 3-1 win over the previously undefeated Wheatland Lobos. Each set of the match was tightly contested, with the Wheatland defense presenting challenges for the Douglas strikers, but the Lady Cats were able to come through in the end.
“Wheatland has a very good defensive team,” coach Angela Rhoades said. “They were 5-0 coming into this match so I knew they would be pretty tough. On top of that, due to some extenuating circumstances, we learned a new line up the night before the match, so I was really pleased with how the girls battled in this game.
“We did a really job staying aggressive at the end of the fourth set. Wheatland had some momentum going for them at that point and our kids did not get timid and it helped us finish the match.”
They then matched up with a struggling Newcastle, cruising through the first two sets winning both 25-14, before losing the third set 20-25.
Rhoades said the team struggled with comminication, which has been their only problem thus far this season.
“The girls we have in this program are very outstanding students and people, and really the only thing I can say that I would like to help them all develop is a louder voice.
“We are so quiet that even if we are talking on the court, we still end up having some moments where no one is sure what is going on or who will take the ball because we cannot hear each other”
After a short intermission to sanitize the gym, Douglas was able to soundly defeat 2A Big Horn in a match that was shortened due to time restrictions.
They won the two sets 25-15 and 25-14, finishing out the weekend with a 7-1 record and placing them atop the 3A Northeast division.
The conditioning of the team stood out, as they were able to maintain a high level of play throughout the tournament that lasted nearly eight hours total.
“They are still moving pretty well at the end of a lot of hours of volleyball,” Rhoades said. “These quads are pretty demanding but will mirror the state tournament format a little bit so it is important to do the best we can during these longer days.”
Douglas opens up its conference play this upcoming week with two matches on the road.
They will travel to Buffalo for a match against the 2-4 Bison Sept. 17 and roll into Thermopolis Sept. 19 to face off against the winless Bobcats.