The second set was still young Thursday night when Green River took a 9-8 lead on a net infraction.
Kelly Walsh dominated the first set, 25-14, in the same fashion that last year’s state runners-up treated most of its previous games. But the Trojans were not hitting as consistently as they had been and found themselves trailing in their home gym.
Then, like a surge of electricity to a dormant battery, senior leader Madison Vinich scored a monster spike and reignited the offense.
Vinich’s kill rallied Kelly Walsh to outscore Green River 17-3 for the remainder of the set and the Trojans completed the sweep (25-14, 25-12, 25-14) just minutes later. Vinich finished with a game-high 14 kills.
“They have really been hitting their stride lately,” Kelly Walsh head coach Jeff Barkell said. “We learned early that we can’t win all of them.”
The Trojans (13-2, Class 4A West 3-0) opened the season with two losses in four matches. First it was a loss to Cheyenne East in the season-opening Cheyenne Invite, then it was Laramie the next day.
Kelly Walsh looks essentially the same as it did last season with a lot of veteran leadership. The Trojans replaced Payton Stack with sophomore Corin Carruth, but the familiar names of Vinich, Maddison Dedic, Hallie Jimenez and Danilynn Schell returned.
Carruth proved Thursday that she belongs, scoring nine kills, second to only Vinich. She has found her footing in the rotation during the Trojans’ 11-game winning streak.
First, it was eight straight wins, including two against Laramie, before the start of Class 4A West Conference play began. Then the Trojans swept both Evanston and Jackson last weekend on the road.
Now, the Trojans have hit their rhythm.