Lady Herders outsized by Pine Bluffs but poised for conference play

Eddie Poe photos
Katelyn Cathcart looks on as her shot makes its way over the net just out of the reach of Pine Bluff’s front defense Saturday afternoon in Glenrock. The Lady Hornets have outplayed Glenrock in four matchups this season and won 3-1 on Saturday. 

Eddie Poe

Outside hitter Olivia Sebesta points to Glenrock’s attitude as a clear strong point through one month of the volleyball season. To her, it’s what sets the Lady Herders apart from other teams.
“We still have work to do to clean up our defense and our consistency but we keep a positive attitude and stay motivated,” she said. “In matches where we are losing or aren’t playing our best, we know how to come together as a team and pick each other up.”
In their first of two matches last week, Glenrock traveled to Lusk on Friday to face the Lady Tigers.
Lusk kept close early on but the Lady Herders offensive attack and strong serve returns proved to be too much. After a first set win 25-15, Glenrock eased through sets two and three, 25-12, 25-10 for a clean sweep.
“The team really came together,” head coach Tara Chandler said. “I thought we played pretty well.”
On Saturday, the Lady Herders returned to Glenrock for a home matchup with the Lady Hornets of Pine Bluffs.
Chandler mentioned last week that Pine Bluffs was a hump that her team just couldn’t seem to get over. The Lady Herders first matched up with their quadrant foes last month at the Douglas Invitational and dropped both sets of their third-place match up Sept. 7 in Big Horn, the two teams played to a two-set split which then opened up things for a third match up the following day in the championship.
The Lady Herders dropped both sets in a tight back and forth match, 25-23, 25-22.
“We have a hang-up with them,” Chandler said about Pine Bluffs.
The hang-up continued for Chandler and Glenrock back on their home court Saturday.
With the student section leading the cheers during each stop in action, the Lady Herders kept pace with Pine Bluffs but a lack of size held them back. Stature up front carried the Lady Hornets to a first set win, 25-19. Glenrock pulled momentum back on their side with a set two win, 25-20, but size proved to be the deciding factor in the end as the Lady Herders dropped sets three and four to lose the match, 3-1.
“Sometimes we get tense when we go up against them,” Chandler noted. “Their size is definitely an intimidating factor. I think it’s played into our psyche a little bit.”
As Glenrock sets out to face conference opponents over the next few weeks, continuing the same intensity in practice and in matches will be key to repeating some of their early season successes.
Sebesta has a great deal of confidence in her team and is optimistic that early season match ups against a number of conference teams will help them in the long run.
“We have so much potential and a really good chance to win state this year,” she said. “We’ve had the opportunity to play some of the teams that are in our conference this year and know what we need to do to beat them.”
Through the first month of the season, Chandler and the Lady Herders have a healthy sample of matches to gauge their long-term abilities.
They’re at the point where each match becomes more crucial than the one before it.
“This is the heart of our season,” Chandler said. “This is what we work toward. We’re just trying to focus on strengthening our overall system.
“We want to put together a team that we can rely on down the stretch. We just need to keep a game by game focus.”
For Chandler and her team, it’s not lost on them where their abilities can take them and how much room is still left to grow.
And along with that room to grow, the familiarity on the court could take the team even further.
“The fact that we have all of our players back this year is an advantage because we’ve played together for a long time and know the tendencies of each other and the other teams,” Sebesta said. “As a team we have been through a lot together and are more determined than we have ever been.”


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