Tate took on bigger role in East win over Natrona

Junior Savannah Tate’s role with the Cheyenne East volleyball team has grown throughout this season. But it has never been larger than it was during Thursday evening’s 25-20, 25-17-23-25, 25-21 victory over Casper Natrona County.

Not only did Tate play more than she has in any other match that I’ve seen this season, but she also played well and notched several key kills that stemmed Fillies’ runs.

“She’s a smart hitter and did a great job against their big blocker out there,” East coach Dan Box said. “We’ve been able to use certain people in the certain situations and Savannah did a good job there.”

Added senior setter Kayla Higgins: “For coming in just one play and getting as many kills as (Tate) did, I knew that she was a dependable hitter and that I could depend on her. She may not be a starter and she may not have played with us the entire year, but she played awesome and I had no problem setting her.”

Cheyenne East's Savannah Tate celebrates with teammates Cosette Stellern, left, and  Lindsey Grantz after the Lady Thunderbirds' defeated Casper Natrona 3-1 in the first round of the Class 4A State Volleyball Tournament on Thursday at the Casper Events Center in Casper. East will play the winner between Sheridan and Green River today in the semifinal round. Blaine McCartney/staff

Cheyenne East’s Savannah Tate celebrates with teammates Cosette Stellern, left, and Lindsey Grantz after the Lady Thunderbirds’ defeated Casper Natrona 3-1 in the first round of the Class 4A State Volleyball Tournament on Thursday at the Casper Events Center in Casper. East will play the winner between Sheridan and Green River today in the semifinal round. Blaine McCartney/staff

Tate enters the match whenever the rotation takes senior middle hitter Lauren Hastings to the left side of the front row.

“Lauren is a great hitter, but hitting outside isn’t her forté,” Higgins said. “Lindsey (Grantz) played middle her sophomore year, so we shifted Lindsey into the middle and Savannah outside for that rotation and then Lauren came back in.”

Hastings was more than happy to give up her spot in that rotation, Box said.

“At this point, the girls don’t care who’s in,” the seventh-year coach said. “Savannah is better outside than Lauren is. Lauren doesn’t mind because she just wants to win.”

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