Lady Herders take down Cyclones, Hornets, then clinch top seed in 2A Southeast Conference

Skylar Harford leaps into the air with a final kill shot in the Lady Herders’ game against Pine Bluffs. (Photos courtesy Lorri Harford and Nicole Williams / For the Independent)

Makenzie Partridge and Kira Hill put up a massive block against their Southeast opponents during the Oct. 22 game. (Photos courtesy of Nicole Williams and Lorri Harford/For the Independent)

Lorri Harford, Special to the Independent

After losing to Southeast a couple of weeks ago, the Lady Herders had only one thing on their minds Oct. 22 and that was redemption – and redemption they got as they took the Southeast Lady Cyclones down in three: 25-19, 25-20 and 25-16.

The Lady Herders came out fast and worked together to make short work of the Cyclones.

After the game, Glenrock High School junior and middle blocker Ann Marie Young said “We have figured out how to work together as a team and that has really helped us to start playing to our full potential. I think a big thing that has helped us is that we’ve become more of a family than just teammates, which has helped us to build up better chemistry.” 

Young and senior Skylar Harford would lead the team in blocking with three solo blocks each, and junior Makenzie Partridge added in two of her own.

Three GHS seniors would lead the team defensively with Harford picking up 13 digs and Adelaide Williams and Emma Wieser with 12 each. Harford would put down a team leading 9 kills with Young following right behind her with 8.  Sophomore Kira Hill would add 2 aces and Williams would put up 18 assists.

The Herd’s regular season and postseason would all come down to their final home game Saturday as they hosted the Lady Hornets of Pine Bluffs. 

While the Lady Herders had beaten the Hornets earlier in the season in a very tough fought five set match, the girls knew they had to beat them again to secure their place at regionals. This time, however, the girls would have home court advantage as well as a loud student section behind them.

The girls would come out strong in the first set, but with too many team errors, found themselves losing the first set 21-25. 

Not to be shaken, the Herd refocused and after two huge stuff blocks by Young, the girls found some momentum to take the second set 25-21.

The team once again found themselves making too many errors in the third set and found themselves down 16-23.

After a time out was called by coach Meghan Anderson and a hard-earned side out, the team would show just how far they have come this season.

With the roar of the crowd behind them, the girls dug down deep and fought their way back with 9 unanswered points to take the third set 25-23. Three of those points came as aces from Williams who was unshaken at the serve line. 

Set four would prove no different as the Herd would keep all of their hard won momentum. The girls would win the fourth set 25-19 after one final set from Williams to Harford who would put it away for the win. 

With the crowd roaring, the student section was quick to rush the court to celebrate with the winners. 

Harford would lead the team in kills with 21, with Young adding in 11. Blocking would prove to be a team effort with Young putting up 4 solo blocks and Harford, Hill and Partridge adding in two each. Williams and Harford each had 21 digs with Wieser picking up 17. Williams would add in 5 aces and 29 assists.

Coach Anderson said she is proud of the girls.

“(They) played awesome this weekend. The team brought a lot of energy and fought hard.  We ended our regular season with two great wins!” she said.

Partridge said “when we play as a team we do really well and if we continue to play as we did this last weekend we will go big places.”

“All we have left to do is go to regionals and kick some butt and then go to state and do the same,” Young chimed in.

The Lady Herders finish their regular season 14-13 and 4-0 in conference play.  They will head into regionals next week in Tongue River as the first place seed for the south.


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