Volleyball teams punch tickets to state with quadrant victories

Kelly Walsh, Rawlins, Sundance and Cokeville will be back at the Casper Events Center next week to defend their titles in the Wyoming State High School Volleyball Championships. All four teams guaranteed themselves a spot at the state tournament with opening-round victories in quadrant play Thursday. Every first-round winner moves on to Saturday’s conference tournaments for seeding purposes in next week’s state tournament, which runs Wednesday through Saturday.

The three-time defending state champion Trojans extended their winning streak to six matches with a 3-1 defeat of Sheridan in the Class 4A Northeast at their home gym. Kelly Walsh was set to take on Thunder Basin, a 3-1 winner over Gillette, in the championship game Thursday night.

Rawlins is in position to defend its 3A title after a 3-0 sweep of Burns. The Outlaws faced Wheatland in the Southeast championship match.

Sundance earned the chance to play for its third state title in four years with a sweep of Wright in the 2A Northeast. The loss means the Panthers, who have won five state championships since 2011, won’t advance to state for the first time since 2008.

In the 1A Southwest, three-time defending state champ Cokeville advanced with a 3-0 victory over Farson.

Other teams securing a spot in next week’s state tournament include Natrona County, which failed to make it to state last year, and Laramie, which improved to 18-0 on the season, in 4A. Rock Springs swept Natrona County in the NW championship match.

Next week’s state tournament will be unique in that all Class 1A matches will be played Wednesday, followed by 2A on Thursday, 3A on Friday and 4A on Saturday.

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