State Volleyball, Thursday

Dubois junior Rheannon Hawk dives for a ball in the Rams’ quarterfinal match against Lingle-Fort Laramie at the Wyoming State High School Class 1A Volleyball Championships on Thursday at the Casper Events Center.

Josh Galemore, Star-Tribune

The Dubois volleyball team is in uncharted territory.

The Rams rallied from a 2-0 deficit to defeat Lingle-Fort Laramie 3-2 (12-25, 17-25, 25-23, 25-23, 15-13) on Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Wyoming State High School Class 1A Volleyball Championship at the Casper Events Center.

Dubois (11-13) entered state as the No. 4 seed out of the West. On Thursday, the Rams not only knocked off the East Regional champion Doggers, but advanced to the state semifinals for the first time since at least 1985 (state records before that don’t list quarterfinal winners).

When told that the Rams aren’t supposed to still be alive for a state title, senior Aubry Baker just smiled.

“Well, we are,” she said.

The Rams got here thanks to an epic five-set win over Meeteetse in a loser-out game last weekend. Dubois trailed 2-1 in sets before winning 27-25 and 15-13.

“We like to play long matches,” Baker said. “And as long as we’re out there that long we might as well win.”

The Rams’ comeback Thursday was capped by a kill from junior Calyn O’Neal and a block by sophomore Kellyn Chandler.

Next up for Dubois is a semifinal meeting with Encampment, which is in the semis for the fourth consecutive year after sweeping Kaycee.

“My grandfather always told me when you get to this point it’s just about survive and advance,” Encampment junior Paige Powell said. “We started off a little slow just because I think a lot of our younger girls were a little big starstruck by playing on the blue court.

“We just had to focus and play our style of ball every single game. And I think we did that.”

The other semifinal match will be a rubber match between Southwest Conference foes Snake River and Cokeville, who are facing off for the third time this season.

The defending state champion Rattlers swept Rock River while the Panthers did the same to Hanna.

Snake River, which is in the semifinals for the fifth consecutive year, defeated Cokeville in last year’s championship match.

Follow sports editor Jack Nowlin on Twitter @CASJackN

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Sports Editor

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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