State Volleyball Finals - East

The Cheyenne East volleyball team celebrates after defeating Kelly Walsh in the Wyoming State High School Class 4A Volleyball Championship last year at the Casper Events Center.

File, Star-Tribune

DEFENDING CHAMP: Cheyenne East.

TEAM TO BEAT: Kelly Walsh.

The Trojans (31-4) were undefeated against West Conference teams and have won 20 consecutive matches against 4A competition. Senior Madison Vinich and sophomore Danilynn Schell are the Trojans’ returning all-state selections, but Kelly Walsh has the depth to win its first state title since 2010.

IN THE MIX: Laramie, Cheyenne East.

The Plainsmen (29-4) went 10-0 in the East Conference and handed Kelly Walsh one of their four losses on the season. Senior Shyann Bastian headlines a talented squad that lost only two players off last year’s third-place team. ... The Thunderbirds might not have the firepower they’ve had in recent years, but the three-time defending state champs know what it takes to win and they’ve got one of the better hitters in the state in Duquesne Moratzka.

BEST QUARTERFINAL MATCH: 2W Natrona County vs. 3E Cheyenne East, 2:30 p.m., today.

The Fillies have won eight of their past 10 matches, with both losses coming to Kelly Walsh. The T-Birds, on the other hand, have lost six of their last eight matches entering state, but it’s always tough to take out the champs. Cheyenne East beat Natrona County 2-0 back in the season-opening Cheyenne Invite.

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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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