State volleyball east v thunder basin

Thunder Basin senior Rigan Mcinerney bumps the ball against Cheyenne East in a Class 4A state semifinal match Friday in Casper. Thunder Basin beat East 3-2 to advance to the state championship game.

Thunder Basin High School's dreams of a Class 4A state volleyball title looked doomed after the first two sets Friday night during the semifinal in Casper. A wild comeback changed everything, though, and the Bolts found a way to win in five sets.

Cheyenne East won the first two sets 25-19 to go up 2-0 and put the Bolts against the wall. The Thunderbirds also led 14-12 in the third set before the Bolts turned everything around.

TBHS fought for a 25-21 win in the third set to stay alive. Elsa Clark had the winning kill and then the Bolts completely controlled the final two sets for an impressive win.

Rigan McInerney came up with a huge kill in the fourth set to get to 24-15 before TBHS closed out the crucial victory. The final set was only played to 15 and the T-birds didn’t stand a chance.

The Bolts had all the momentum and only allowed East to score four points in a 15-4 win to close out the wild semifinal (25-19), (25-19), 25-21, 25-15, 15-5.

The match-winning point was set up by a hit from Brooke Conklin. All East could do with it was barely get the ball back over the net off the dig and freshman Joelie Spelts destroyed the over pass for 15-4 win.

TBHS coach Wenett Martin said it was a crazy match and now the Bolts have an opportunity to win the program’s first state championship Saturday afternoon. They take on defending state champ Casper Kelly Walsh (32-1) at 4 p.m. at the Casper Events Center.

The Trojans’ lone loss on the season was to the Bolts during a tournament.

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