State Volleyball Day One - Star Valley

Star Valley players celebrate their win over Buffalo in the quarterfinals of the Wyoming State High School Class 3A Volleyball Championship last year at the Casper Events Center.

File, Star-Tribune

DEFENDING CHAMP: Star Valley.

TEAM TO BEAT: Rawlins.

The Outlaws (26-7) were swept by the Bearcats in the East Regional final, but were unbeaten against 3A competition prior to that. Rawlins also went 9-6 against 4A competition, including victories over Kelly Walsh, Laramie and Natrona County.

IN THE MIX: Douglas, Riverton, Lyman.

The sweep over Rawlins in the East Regional final gave the Bearcats (26-7) a 10-match winning streak entering state. Senior Madison Hoopman is a returning all-state selection and one of the best team leaders in the state. ... The Wolverines (20-12) enter state riding a wave of momentum. They won the West Regional by avenging regular-season losses to Mountain View, Lyman and Star Valley. ... The Eagles (26-5) have won 11 of 13 matches coming into state and feature one of the best all-around athletes in the state in junior McKinley Bradshaw.

BEST QUARTERFINAL MATCH: 2E Rawlins vs. 3W Lyman, 4:30 p.m., today.

Both teams are on the short list of championship contenders. This will be their first meeting this year. Rawlins has to be happy to face any teams besides Mountain View, which defeated the Outlaws the last three years at state.

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Jack Nowlin returned to the Star-Tribune in 2007 after eight years covering Michigan State University athletics. A Wyoming native, and a graduate of Jeffrey City High School and the University of Wyoming, Jack serves as the Star-Tribune’s sports editor.

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