After a rough start, the Laramie Lady Plainsmen brought home hardware with a third place finish at the 4A State Volleyball Championships last weekend in Casper.

Laramie beat Gillette and Natrona County on Saturday for their best result since 2011.

Head coach Rebecca Stewart said it was big for them to take third, especially after a tough first day, but she was happy they rallied over the final two days of competition.

The start to the state tournament was one the Lady Plainsmen would rather forget. They were swept in the first round by Evanston last Thursday. Scores were 26-24, 25-18 and 25-19 in favor of the Red Devils. Laramie was led by Jennifer Aadland and Katie Welniak, who had 12 and 11 kills, respectively.

The Lady Plainsmen bounced back in consolation play last Friday. They defeated Sheridan in four sets and advanced to the third day. LHS won the match 25-19, 15-25, 26-24 and 25-15. Laramie had a balanced attack with four players in double figures in kills. Welniak led the way with 13 kills, while Aadland had 12. Maia Edwards and Ashlyn Titensor added 11 kills each. Edwards also finished with six blocks and Aadland five. Shyann Bastian registered 49 assists.

It was on to day three and a chance to bring home a trophy. That’s exactly what Laramie did.

The Lady Plainsmen swept rival Gillette 25-21, 26-24 and 25-22. Edwards led LHS with nine kills and three blocks. Titensor and Welniak added seven kills each. As a team, they had eight aces.

Laramie advanced onto the third-place match and faced Natrona. The Lady Plainsmen started fast and won the first two sets, 25-21 and 25-16. After they lost the third, 22-25, LHS pulled away for the victory, 25-19. Welniak finished with 17 kills and nine digs. Laramie came up with 18 blocks as a team. Bastian recorded 39 assists.

The Lady Plainsmen concluded the season with a 26-9 record.