Kemmer Gazette | KHS Volleyball goes 2-3 at Riverton Invitational

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RANDOLPH, Utah- The Kemmerer High School volleyball team opened the 2022 season last week, falling in straight sets to Rich High School on Thursday, then going 2-3 at the Riverton Invitational on Friday and Saturday.

“I think we did very well at Riverton,” KHS head coach Jennifer Nielson said. “The morning we left I had a player who was injured so I had to move a younger player from JV. But overall we did very well.”

Lady Rangers (2-4) opened the Riverton Invitational on Friday against Wind River, winning easily in straight sets, 21-16 and 21-12. This was followed by a 2-0 loss to Shoshoni (21-14, 21-11).

“We lost to Shoshoni,” Nielsen said. “I wasn’t really happy about that — neither was my assistant coach. The girls were just really, really flat, sitting too long between games.

Kemmerer bounced back in his final game of the day, beating rival Wyoming Indian of the 2A Southwest Quadrant in straight sets, 21-7, 21-9.

“We came back and beat the Wyoming Indians pretty easily, which was good to see,” Nielson said.

On Saturday, Lady Rangers played two 4A teams in Sheridan and host Riverton. Kemmerer gave the Lady Broncs all they could handle in a three-set loss, giving up the first set 21-12 but bouncing back to win the second set 21-15. Sheridan won the tiebreaker 15-6 to win the match.

“We split sets with Sheridan, so we had to go to three sets,” Nielson explained. “I was really happy with that. It was good to see the girls being able to compete with a 4A team, and they competed well.

Lady Rangers closed out the tournament against host Riverton, losing 2-0 (21-13, 21-15).

“We fought Riverton – we were in the game with them,” Nielson said. “Playing at these bigger schools just makes us better. One of the things I tried to remind my daughters of is that – even though we’ve gone back down to 2A – we still need to have the same intensity we had in 3A. So far it’s looking good – we’re pretty messy and we’re doing some good things.

Lady Rangers’ success at the Riverton Invite was a team effort, with input from everyone on the pitch, according to Nielson.

“Janae Skidmore stood out for me – she’s my center hitter,” Nielson said. “She can read the court, she did a great job there. My outside hitter – Laynee Walker – did a great job, she hustles so much, then gets back to where she needs to be after chasing a ball. Gracee Painter did a great job on the right side, she looks better this year. We did some very good things, but we have work to do before our next tournament.

The Lady Rangers will be on the road again this week at the Greybull Invitational on Friday and Saturday.

“Greybull will be a great tournament,” Nielson said. “We can see the other side of the state for 2A – the teams that will be at regionals with us, so that will be good. We have to go faster – we are a bit slow in the back row. We have to move our feet. We have to close our blocks, we let too much pass. And we have to hit every time – we have to have a good first pass to our passer, and we have to really focus on those skills to maintain the momentum that we have right now.

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