By: Shawn O’Brate

THERMOPOLIS – This past weekend some of Fremont County’s best teams traveled up through the Wind River canyon to take part in the two-day Bobcat Invite volleyball tournament. 

Shoshoni and Wind River’s teams traveled to take on their close counterparts, Thermopolis, starting Friday around 1 PM. 

The 3A Thermopolis Lady Bobcats started everything off by taking on the 2A Big Piney team, losing to the Lady Punchers in two straight sets (21-19, 21-14) before then losing to 1A’s Little Snake River team in two straight sets as well (21-8, 21-10). They would end the first day with a 2-2 record as they finished their third match of the day by beating Shoshoni (21-19, 21-17) and the 1A Burlington team in straight sets (21-15, 21-11). 

Shoshoni sophomore Sway Fike dug a serve Saturday in Thermopolis. (p/c Carl Cote)

That first day also saw multiple ties, with Shoshoni’s first match of the day ending 1-1 against Burlington with the Lady Blue winning 21-15 and losing 16-21. Then, right after, Wind River tied with Kemmerer 1-1 with the Lady Cougars winning 21-9 and losing 21-16. 

Afterwards, Shoshoni beat Big Piney in straight sets (21-8, 21-10) before losing to Thermopolis (above) and putting down the 1A Encampment team in straight sets (21-18, 21-18). 

Wind River had an up-and-down first day. After tying with Kemmerer they lost to the #5 team in 1A, the Saratoga Lady Panthers, in straight sets (21-15, 21-17). Their third match of the day ended in a victory over 1A’s Farson-Eden in straight sets (21-13, 21-20) before falling to Greybull in two extremely close sets (21-19, 21-20). 

Wind River’s JV team also played, beating Ten Sleep in straight sets (21-16, 21-20). 

The second day of the Bobcat Invite held some surprises, but it ended positively for one specific Fremont County team. 

Shoshoni would start off the matches on Saturday, tying with Little Snake River 1-1 (16-21 LSR, 21-15 Sho). That would shove the Lady Blue into the silver bracket to end the day. 

In that silver bracket Shoshoni beat Big Piney in two of three sets (18-25, 25-16, 15-8) before playing Greybull for the championship in a disheartening third-and-final set (26-24, 16-25, 15-11). 

Wind River had a different day than their rivals down the street from Pavillion. The Lady Cougars started off Saturday by losing to the #4 team in 1A, Riverside, in straight sets (21-14, 21-14). That loss put the Lady Cougars in the bronze bracket where they beat up on Farson-Eden in straight sets (25-21, 25-10) which put them in the championship against Kemmerer. 

Cyle Honstein laughed with her teammates during last weekend’s Bobcat Invite Volleyball Tournament (p/c Carl Cote)

Wind River took that championship game to heart, defeating Kemmerer in three sets (25-22, 17-25, 15-10) with the first of them coming extremely close to a loss, but the Lady Cougars pulled it out and won their bronze bracket. 

“We barely got beat out to be in the bottom of the silver bracket,” Coach Lori Davidson said afterwards, “Kemmerer was a tough matchup, but a fun one too.”

Junior Amanda Jenkins ended the championship game with 14 assists while Cylie Honstein and Kaylee Leesburg both ended the game with 6 kills. Junior Maggie Jensen also had a great match as she finished with 14 digs. 

Shoshoni junior Tania St. Clair spiked the ball over the net against Grey Bull Saturday in Thermopolis. (p/c Carl Cote)

“They’re coming along really well,” Coach Davidson said about her Lady Cougars team. 

The home team, Thermopolis, won their first match of the second day against Encampment in straight sets (21-12, 21-14) before tying Ten Sleep 1-1 with the Lady Bobcats’ win coming in a 21-16 set while their loss came in a close 21-19 set. 

Thermopolis would sneak into the gold bracket and lose to Riverside in straight sets (25-14, 25-13). Riverside would end up winning it all in the toughest bracket as they beat Little Snake River in straight sets as well (25-22, 25-15). 

Congratulations to all the teams that participated in the Bobcat Invite and good luck in this weekend’s matchups!