It has been a dream week for Burns Volleyball

Published: Nov. 11, 2022 at 12:28 AM CST
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - The volleyball season has officially drawn to a close, and 2A Burns has a lot to be proud of coming out of state championships. The Lady Broncs volleyball team made history at the tournament when they won their first championship since 1992.

The chemistry on the team ran deep long before this magical run; as soon as last season ended these girls put in the time together with one goal in mind: win.

“We have been together working on this season for a very long time. It started probably last December, started playing club, practicing all the time. This summer we were in the weight room and we were in the gym almost every day,” senior Emma Norris said.

“It’s so exciting. It just shows how much work we’ve put in, and it shows that our effort and our hard work and all the time we spent in the gym and all that pays off,” junior Tehya Gallegos added.

Not many expected them to achieve it, especially because Burns actually lost to Big Horn in the regionals before they faced them again in the state championship. The team learned a lot from that game though, and that experience is what helped them flip the script when it mattered most.

“We spent that whole week, Monday through Wednesday watching that entire game back. Watching their film and learning what we can do differently, what we didn’t do well, and what they did well. So we just studied them inside and out, and we knew exactly what to do,” junior Savannah Kirkbride said.

“We did a different kind of gameplan for them when we were at regionals where we single blocked because they tip a lot. So we dropped one of our blockers down and we only single blocked. We changed that for the next week. We really worked on overloading the blockers, serving to specific people, hitting to the center, just a really really dialed in gameplan,” head coach Anndee McKinney said.

When Burns scored the final point of the 2A championship, it was a rush of emotions for everyone on the team.

“It was crazy. It didn’t really feel real at the time, it was crazy. We were all jumping up and down screaming, it was insane,” junior Brooke Hansen said.

“It was great. It was a great feeling. I knew we came in as underdogs, everyone expected big horn to win. So it was a great feeling to prove everyone wrong, because no one expected us to actually win. And it was great to do it with just amazing teammates and outstanding coaches,” junior Sienna Gallegos said.

It’s undoubtedly been a big week for Lady Broncs Volleyball, but the first championship in 30 years wasn’t even all of it. Their senior leader and 2A Southeast Player of the Year Norris will be continuing her volleyball career at the collegiate level. She signed her letter of intent Thursday to play for Chadron State.

“Emma means a lot. She’s kind of our go-to person when we need to put the ball down. She’s worked really hard to increase her vertical. She plays all the way around, we can expect digs out of her, we can expect hits, her serving is outstanding. So she’s been kind of the foundation of us creating this team,” McKinney said.

“I definitely hope that I can contribute in a good way. Not hoping to be their star player or anything, but definitely hoping to contribute,” Norris said.

Norris was extremely humble talking about her next step, but the way her teammates and coaches talked about her spoke volumes about her character and ability.

Even though she’s leaving, she’s the only senior lost from a team that knows what it takes to win, and this group is already hungry to make Burns Volleyball a dynasty.