Lady Hornets' unfortunate injury at Regionals


Allie Hurley

Senior Lady Hornet Jesi Zitek returns fire to the attacking Sundance Lady Bulldogs at Regionals Friday in Torrington.

With all the success they had during the season, Pine Bluffs Lady Hornets won a spot at Regionals.

On Friday, the swarm of Lady Hornets traveled to Torrington to face the number two seed from the north, Big Horn Lady Rams.

"Even before the match was underway, the team and fans watched with a feeling of helplessness as sophomore middle blocker, Marina Howard, went down with a freak injury in warm ups," Chris Nusbaum, Pine Bluffs Volleyball Coach, explained.

Howard had injured her ankle and had to sit out of the tournament. Coach Nusbaum said the team fought hard and with courage, but the Lady Rams were just too much for the Lady Hornets that day.

The Lady Hornets didn't have their heads in the game and lost 12-25. The Lady Rams took advantage of the distracted Lady Hornets and won again 12-25. The Lady Hornets snapped out of their rut and fought harder during the last set but were not able to overcome the Lady Rams and lost 16-25.

In the consolation bracket, the Lady Hornets' next opponent was the Sundance Lady Bulldogs. Coach Nusbaum said the Lady Hornets put together a much more aggressive offensive assault against the Bulldogs but weren't able to get past them, losing in four sets.

The Lady Hornets went into the battle more focused on winning the game. They had a close loss during the first set 20-25. However, the Lady Hornets were not going to back down and fought hard for another close loss 21-25. With their hearts pumping and spirits up, the Lady Hornets won the third set 25-20. The Lady Bulldogs did not let the swarm scare them off and won the last round 18-25.

"Both teams were good teams and it was quite an adjustment for us defensively to lose Marina's presence at the net," Coach Nusbaum said.

During their time at Regionals, Senior Lady Hornet Jaden Ragsdale led the swarm with 36 kills, four blocks and 18 digs. Senior Jesi Zitek served an ace and made 17 digs. Teammate Sierra Shelit served three aces, scored 11 kills and helped her team with seven assists and 28 digs. Lady Hornet Jadyn Golding scored four kills and kept her eye on the ball with six assists and 28 digs. Shayna Held kept her eye on the ball with three kills and a dig. Ashlyn Culp fought back with two kills and three digs. Brooke Darden helped her teammates rack up some points with two aces, 37 assists and 31 digs. Melissa Fornstrom stayed focused and made 100 percent of her serves along with an ace, as well as making three kills and 14 digs. Kamie Schaefer stayed strong on her serves and also served 100 percent.

"I was extremely proud of the way all of the girls stepped up and I think it showed a lot about their character," Nusbaum said. "They definitely went down swinging; never giving up the fight. I am very proud of all of their accomplishments this season."

The Hornets finished 17-7 on the season. They wish the Lady Broncs good luck as they advance to the state tournament.

Allie Hurley

Senior Lady Hornet Jaden Ragsdale flies to spike the ball during the battle against Sundance Lady Bulldogs.


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