State Volleyball Finals - Snake River

Snake River players celebrate a kill in their match against Cokeville in the Wyoming State High School Class 1A Volleyball Championship last season at the Casper Events Center.

File, Star-Tribune

CLASS 1A PREVIEW

DEFENDING CHAMP: Snake River.

TEAM TO BEAT: Snake River.

The defending champs won their first 16 matches to open the season, including six victories against 2A competition and a win over 3A Torrington. The only losses for the Rattlers (25-3) were to Southeast Conference foes Cokeville and Encampment, although Snake River also has wins against both teams.

IN THE MIX: Cokeville, Encampment, Lingle-Fort Laramie.

The Panthers (22-9) won the West Regional title and enter state on an 11-match winning streak. They also are 3-0 against Encampment and 2-1 against Snake River, which is their only loss to a 1A team. ... The Tigers (19-5) are 17-0 against teams not named Snake River or Cokeville. The 2015 state champs also have two returning all-state players in Paige Powell and Hailey Barkhurst. ... The Doggers (18-9) dropped just one set in winning the East Regional and are undefeated against 1A competition this season.

BEST QUARTERFINAL MATCH: No. 3E Kaycee vs. No. 2W Encampment, 2:30 p.m., today. This is the third year in a row these teams have faced off at state, with Encampment winning both previous matches.

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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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