By Becky Christofferson
Pine Bluffs Post 

Burns Jr. High Lady Broncs SEWAC Champs



The Burns Lady Broncs Junior High Volleyball team captured the SEWAC title Oct. 8 against Southeast in two sets. Those playing in the tournament were first row, from left, Ski McDonnell, Laura Collins, Alexis Engel, Alana Martin, Ariana Eklund. Back row, from left, Coach Amber Barrett, Kaycee Thomas, Layne Burnett, Austin Griess, Drue Mirich, Jaden Gipfert, Rylee Ward, Kylie Gallegos, Katelyn Smith, Coach Eric Allen, Alexia Mahaffey.

The Burns Lady Broncs Junior High Volleyball team brought home the SEWAC conference title Oct. 8 after a hard tough battle in Lingle, Wyo. This was the first title brought home by the Lady Broncs since 2010.

After winning against Southeast at home for the last-regular season volleyball game in three sets: 25- 23, 22,-25 and 25-13, the Lady Broncs tied with Southeast for first place in regular season play.

"It was during homecoming week and we had a huge amount of support from our high school students," Head Coach Eric Allen explained. "They made a ton of noise supporting us and created an amazing atmosphere for a junior high game."

The Lady Broncs took on the Lusk Lady Tigers team during the semifinal round of the SEWAC conference.

"We played pretty sluggish, but won 25-19, 25-23," Allen explained.

Facing the Southeast Lady Cyclones in the championship game, the girls won in two sets: 25-19 and 26-24.

"The girls got down early, but fought back to win," Allen stated. This was the third time the Lady Broncs and Lady Cyclones had played each other in the season with all three games being very close.

The A-team finished 12-3 in season play and were 7-1 in the SEWAC conference.

"It was truly a fun group of kids to coach," Allen said. "They improved greatly over the season in their volleyball skills and also gained a lot of life-long skills in learning to persevere in the face of a challenge." Allen is excited to see how the eighth graders do next year as they move on to high school.

The Lady Broncs had a total of 30 girls participate in volleyball this year.

"Twenty of those were seventh graders," Allen went on. "Which was as many as I can ever remember and I have been the coach since 2005."

Allen thanked his assistant, Coach Amber Barrett, in helping throughout the season.

"In her first year, she did a great job with the kids and with helping keep us going with such big numbers," Allen said.

Those on the Lady Broncs Junior High Volleyball team included eighth graders Layne Burnett, Schuylar McDonell, Kaycee Thomas, Debra Dawn Zettler, Jaden Gipfert, Lexie Jenkins, Kaitlyn Davis, Alexis Engel, Alyssa Cudney, and Laura Collins. Seventh graders on the team were Katelyn Smith, Austin Griess, Alexia Mahaffy, Ellie Mills, Alana Martin, Tava Holmes, Gabby Mariani, Katie Love, Kelly Anderson, Ariana Eklund, Rylee Ward, Kylie Gallegos, Jyllian Cruz, Madison Loyd, Shelby Long, AnaMaria Manning, Drue Mirich, Savannah Corman, and Tanya Bencomo. Kayla Krakow was the team manager.


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