RIVERTON – One of the most anticipated nights of any sports seasons is the return of the Keeper of the Gold rivalry matchup between Lander Valley and Riverton, two cross-county rivals who have gone at it in every sport going back to the 1930s. Thursday night added another epic battle between the two schools, this time on the volleyball court with the Lady Tigers and Lady Wolverines.
The “Froshmore” teams started everything off at Wolverine Stadium at Riverton High School (RHS). Lander Valley High School (LVHS) found themselves in a barn-burner after going up one set to zero, fighting neck-and-neck against the Lady Wolverines all the way down to the final points. After getting up on RHS 24-22 late in the second set, the Froshmore Lady Wolverines clawed their way back to win 26-24 on a stellar block on the front line.
The Lady Tigers finished off the Froshmores from RHS 25-16, coming off a spike by freshman McKenzie Fixter, winning 2-1 before the junior varsity teams took the court.
JV’s girls were exactly like the first match: back-and-forth, neck and neck. Neither team found a lead of more than two until RHS took a 22-19 lead late in the first set, holding it until 25-23. The Lady Wolverines didn’t wait to take the lead in the next set, going up 11-4 early and ending up winning 25-18 to take the JV matchup 2-0.
The varsity game saw a much fuller set of bleachers and a packed student section on Riverton’s side of Wolverine Stadium. Riverton’s Lady Wolverines continued to dominate, expanding to a double-digit lead for much of the rest of the first set before letting up a little and eventually winning 25-17.
Riverton would eventually win 25-7 to take the second set. The third set seemed to be when the Lady Tigers finally kicked themselves into another gear, starting off up on their rivals, but both squads became evenly matched after a few substitutions and they found themselves tied for much of the set.
Late in the third set Lander was up 23-21 and after a few tough digs they were able to get the set victory off a shot into the net by the Lady Wolverines, 2-1 in favor of the home team.
The Lady Wolverines took another few serves and placed their spikes perfectly; suddenly they found themselves up 20-12 in the fourth set, five points away from victory on their home court. They ended up winning it all in front of their home crowd and student section after winning 25-17 and celebrating their rivalry win for the third-straight time.
Up next, the Lady Wolverines head to Jackson High School next Friday, September 15, while Lander heads to the Rawlins Invite this weekend.
BY: Shawn O’Brate