The Thunder Basin High School volleyball team took down the No. 1 team in Class 4A in five sets Thursday, beating Kelly Walsh 3-2 in front of the home crowd.

As of Saturday, the Bolts hold the No. 2 seed from the North quadrant going into next weekend’s Class 4A East regional tournament. But with Thursday’s win over the Trojans, the Bolts could claim the No. 1 seed if Campbell County beats Kelly Walsh on Saturday, TBHS coach Wenett Martin said.

The comeback win was a much needed boost for a Bolts team that struggled in Cheyenne last weekend, senior Hannah Durgin said.

“Last week we went down 3-0 to (Cheyenne) East so it was just kind of a bad weekend but going into practice we told ourselves, ‘We need to change. Something needs to change and it has to be right now,’” Durgin said after Thursday’s match. “I think that we just showed that on the court tonight.”

The regional tournament will go back to its typical eight-team format after being condensed to two separate four-team tournaments last year because of COVID-19. The two-day tournament will be held at Campbell County on Friday and Saturday.

The Bolts were ranked No. 5 in the WyoPrep.com coaches and media volleyball rankings going into Thursday’s match. The Trojans had just moved into the No. 1 spot after beating previously No. 1-ranked Laramie last week.

The five-set win over Kelly Walsh was the Bolts’ first win over the Trojans this season. The match also served as a huge momentum boost for Thunder Basin going into the regional tournament.

“I think this was a huge confidence booster to our team because at the end of the day its just us six on the court on our side,” Durgin said. “That’s all we can control. We can’t control what anyone else does.

“We’re a very tight-knit group so we’re definitely all smiles after this game.”

The Bolts will play one last conference match against Sheridan at noon Saturday at TBHS to end the regular season before shifting its focus to the playoffs.

“We just need to keep pushing,” junior Joelie Spelts said. “We just need to come out like we usually do and play how we did today so we can really set the tone.”

The top four teams at regionals will qualify for the state tournament Nov. 4-6 in Casper.

For TBHS volleyball results, visit gillettenewsrecord.com or follow Sports Editor Alex Taylor on Twitter @alex_m_taylor22.

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