2011 Cheyenne Invite schedule

The Cheyenne Invitational volleyball tournament starts Friday. Teams in this year’s field include: Cheyenne Central, Cheyenne East, Wheatland, Casper Kelly Walsh, Casper Natrona County, Laramie and Southeast. This is Wheatland’s first trip to the Cheyenne Invite since the round-robin event was brought back a handful of years ago.

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Box returns to East volleyball

Cheyenne East has hired Dan Box to coach its volleyball team for a third time.

Box coached the Lady Thunderbirds to the first of back-to-back state championships in 2003 before stepping down to finish his graduate course work at the University of Wyoming. He returned to the helm from 2005-06 before resigning because he was getting married and didn’t think he’d be able to balance the demands of being a head coach early in his marriage.

Box replaces Jaye Wacker who resigned in November after two seasons as the head coach, citing the demands placed upon him by a new position at the school.

Including his two previous tenures, Box is the fifth volleyball coach East has had since 2000.

Talk about road woes

A team starting its season with what its coach deems one of the worst performances in school history is typically a cause for concern, but Pine Bluffs volleyball coach Lisa Gilbert gave her team a pass in its loss to Dubois on Friday at the Saratoga Invitational.

Pine Bluffs’ bus broke down near the Lincoln Monument on Interstate 80 about 10 miles east of Laramie on Friday afternoon. The delay meant the Hornets had to get dressed on the bus and had very little time to stretch their legs and get warmed up before squaring off with Dubois. Gilbert called the delay a “fiasco,” but said her team rebounded well.

It won the rest of its matches and took the tournament title.

“We couldn’t do anything right in that first match and the girls were completely out of sync,” Gilbert said. “After they got their bearings, they settled down and we played better as the tournament went on. For having such a shaky beginning, we had a really strong finish.”

Another local connection in 2A state title match

Pine Bluffs being involved in the Class 2A state volleyball championship wasn’t the only Cheyenne-area connection to that match.

First-year Big Horn coach Jami Laya-Harvey spent 2004 as Cheyenne East’s head coach. She helped guide the Lady Thunderbirds to their second consecutive Class 4A title in her lone season at the helm. She resigned later that school year and moved to Sheridan. Big Horn is just southwest of Sheridan.

Laya-Harvey also was an assistant for coach Dan Box on East’s 2003 state title team.

Big Horn won its third consecutive 2A title with a 3-0 win over Pine Bluffs.

State volleyball: Casper Natrona County 3, Cheyenne Central 2

Cheyenne Central won the first two games, but Casper Natrona County took the final three to win the loser-out contest 19-25, 20-25, 25-16, 25-15, 25-13 Saturday morning.

Central was led by senior Lola Glenn who had 30 digs, 10 kills, four ace serves and two blocks. Classmate Megan Sargent added 10 kills, three blocks and two aces.

For more on this match, see Sunday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle.

State volleyball: Big Horn downs Pine Bluffs for 2A title

Big Horn won its third consecutive Class 2A state championship with a 25-11, 25-13, 25-14 win over Pine Bluffs on Saturday night in Casper.

“Big Horn played flawless,” Pine Bluffs coach Lisa Gilbert said.

Sophomore Laura Gross paced the Hornets with seven kills. Senior Brittney Bowman had nine digs and five kills.

For more on this match, see Sunday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle.

State volleyball: Wheatland wins state title

The Lady Bulldogs fought off match point in the fourth game to win their third Class 3A state championship in four seasons, defeating Powell 21-25, 27-29, 25-21, 26-24, 15-9 on Saturday evening at the Casper Events Center.

Senior Paige Hellbaum had 24 digs and 20 kills. Sophomore McKenzie Hellbaum, Paige’s younger sister, added 27 digs and 17 kills.

The title is the fourth of coach Kim Davis’ 12-year tenure in Wheatland. The other titles came in 2000, ’06 and ’07. The Dawgs were runners-up in 2003, ’04 and ’05.

For more on this match, see Sunday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle.

State volleyball: Pine Bluffs reaches title tilt

Pine Bluffs downed Wright 25-23, 20-25, 25-22, 26-24 to advance to the Class 2A championship match. It’s the first time the Lady Hornets have played for a state title since capping a run of three consecutive crowns in 2005. They’ll take on Big Horn in the state title match at 5 p.m. Saturday night.


Senior Ariel Geouge led Pine Bluffs with 14 kills and five blocks.


For more information, see Saturday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle.

State volleyball: Cheyenne Central 3, Star Valley 0

The Indians eliminated Star Valley with a 25-21, 25-21, 25-17 victory Friday afternoon in Casper. Central trailed by as many as seven in the opening game.


Senior Megan Sargent fronted the Indians with 13 kills.


Central faces Casper Natrona County in a loser-out match at 9 a.m. today. The Fillies fell to the loser’s bracket with a 3-2 loss to Green River in the championship semifinals.


For more of this story, see Saturday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle.