Saturday, November 7, 2009

Crazy!!!! POST EDIT and afterthought.

---Last night when i wrote the post about the crazies... i was obviously offended and i may have become a little bit "mother cat" over my sister! I still mean everything i wrote. but this morning after the intensity of it wore off. and some very kind comments and emails i feel a lot better.

So i want to say thank you just one more time for all of the support and kindness Erin has received from strangers as well as people in her life. Our family has been very blessed to have people that love her and cheer her on. i know Erin is grateful for that as well.
I would also like to say, that although my last post was mainly about mean people, there has been way more positive and kind feedback from friends, family, and strangers about Erin being named All State Player of the Year than mean ones. There has been WAY more love in this situation than hate and i appreciate all of you who have shown me that. Anyone who knows Erin would only want to be her friend, you can't know her and choose to be her enemy. The only opinions that should matter to me are the ones of my friends and family. and i know i have all the support in the world from them. I'm sorry that i let myself focus on the negative people last night and not the positive, when there has been so many nice things that have been said.
I just love my sister.
positivity always wins, and i promise i will be on that side from now on!! Thank you.

Friday, November 6, 2009


WOW!!! So most of my volleyball posts about Erin were posted within the week, some within hours of this post. And ALL of them were newspaper articles and direct quotes except for the post -representin'- which says more about my love for her than about her athletic ability). But i seem to have caused quite the controversy! I may have to start monitoring and approving my comments from other people. I have received quite a few mean, snarky and intense comments and emails from complete strangers from other wyoming teams. Mostly about how they think their players are better. I have deleted the comments (except for the one comment that was just a comment, and not rude.) And although i do understand that they are bias and loyal to their players, as i am to my sister, i don't think it's appropriate for them to search out my personal blog and a put negative damper on the excitement and happiness that me and my family are experiencing over Erin's volleyball season and accomplishments.
I have never bad-mouthed another team or player on my blog or in public, and i don't delete the positive quotes from the articles about other team's players when i post them on my blog. when my family attends the games we cheer and clap for the opposing teams when they do something good- just like we do for our own team. My parents have had letters written about them to our athletics department on more than one occasion thanking them for their good sportsmanship and positive energy toward ALL wyoming players.
I think Erin is very deserving of her recognition this season. I know that there are opinions and politics in sports that i certainly do not understand. But one thing i know as a fact is that Erin being named state player of the year was because the majority of the coaches from all 4A teams voted for her. And i want to thank those coaches for doing so, it proves to me that me thinking she deserves it isn't JUST because i love her and see who she is, but also because the majority of her competition's coaches also wanted her to be recognized after watching her athletic skills and getting to see a a small part of who she is as a person. Erin is a very kind and sweet young lady who is very passionate about what she does and about the people in her life. she is extremely grateful for the honors she has received as state and regional player of the year as well as all state and all conference. although she has self worth and shows pride in what she does, she is never cocky or rude, on or off the court. She even acknowledges the talent and competition of the other players in the 4A classification that could have been and were considered for player of the year , as well as her teammates for helping her be and become the player that she is....

Erin's most recent quotes:
"I was excited because it was my goal from when I was a sophomore to do it by the time I was a senior so that was nice," Kirby said. "It makes me feel good. There are a lot of other really good players. I would watch them and see how good they were. It's cool that coaches see me play and think that about me.

"I tried to have a good attitude on the court and be a team player," Kirby said. She also gave credit to the team's setters, Abbey Ehlers and Jessica Chandler.
"They are great setters. They helped me get better with my hitting because I didn't have to adjust too much," Kirby said. "They'd get a good set and I'd get a good hit and it would help with confidence."

-------Comments and even links to other articles about the players you love, no matter what team they play on are welcomed. I have great pride in my home state of wyoming and the amazing talent and athleticism we have, and are lucky enough to witness together. We are separate as teams in our cities, classifications, regions, and conferences, and we are all proud of our individual friends and family as athletes and our coaches that lead and teach them. but we should show some unity and pride as a state, not just as individuals teams and players. Be glad we have each other.

*One of the most true quotes i have ever heard is... "We are only as great as our greatest competition."
-Our athletes push each other and help each other learn and grow and develop into the people and athletes that they are. They sharpen each other's talents and skills and teach each other life lessons such as triumph, disappointment, pride, humility, teamwork, friendship, competition, respect, dedication, drive, integrity, embarrassment, excitement, pure sorrow, and pure happiness, and in general, just pure, raw emotion.
I am grateful to have had the chance to grow up in wyoming sports and learn some of these lessons for myself. And being seven years older than Erin, i have been so lucky to be able to watch her grow and mature into who she is. And not only to witness that growth but to see how so much of it is because of your children and athletes, and all wyoming coaches and parents. You have all been Erin's greatest competition and she is great because of that. And i truly believe that your daughters are greater because she was a great competition to them. I want to say thank you to all of you who are influential in our Wyoming High School Sports, from that huge amount of support... Erin as well as many other past, present, and future Wyoming athletes have the opportunity to play in college level sports, and to have their educations paid for, making them just as successful in their adult lives as they are now.

For those of you who don't agree with me or share my enthusiasm... you are entitled to whatever opinions you have and i respect that. But please respect me and my family by not posting unkind remarks on my personal blog. There are plenty of discussion boards where you can write anything you want (go here to read other opinions or to post your own). Although Erin is very humble, i have NEVER, EVER claimed to be humble for or about her. I am extremely proud of her and her accomplishments, i brag about her all the time! I am lucky to have her in my life as an example and as someone to try to be an example for. I love her and love that i can call her my sister. if that pride and love annoys you, as some of you have so blatantly and viciously expressed, and you really feel the need to tell me or to say something about it, then please at least send it in an email so that only i have to read it, not all of my friends and family. Thank you.
Lyndsey Kirby McClure


During the state Finals i was really excited and wanted the girls to know how much we love and support them. The whole Evanston crowd cheered and yelled like crazy the whole weekend but i always wonder how much they can really hear all the way out there..... even thought i'm REALLY loud and my mom is even louder!! (people in front of us may or may not have moved during the first game, telling us that we were too loud and gave us mean looks. But we always cheer nicely and even cheer when the other team does good stuff too! So i think they were just cranky cause we were winning!) But ANYWAY......for the finals me and my friend Jaime decided to make sure they could see and feel our love from the stands!! So we made posters for the girls. Erin is such a great player and nice person that most of the other teams and their fans know her, but she had also been in the front page of casper paper the day before, so if they didn't know her before that... they all did after watching her play and reading the article. I wanted everyone to know that she's MINE! She may be humble, but i am definitely not humble about her! So i made a shirt that said "ERIN KIRBY IS MY SISTER" with a KIRBY and number 11 on the back. she could see it from the stands and it made her so happy. They were all so smiley from the court when they saw us. People from other teams were commenting when i'd walk by them. They'd say how amazing and kind she is and some cute girls that were from a middle school in another city said " I wish Erin was my sister" it was so cute!!! GO LADY DEVILS WE LOVE YOU ALL!!!!

Erin's article from today in the Herald about being State Plater of the Year

OK OK..... i know the Erin posts are getting a little out of control! But i'm so proud of her and i want to make sure i'm keeping things documented. I love this article because she's getting interviewed for being the state player of the year, it's all about her. But she credits not only her setters and teammates, but mentions how grateful she is to be chosen among so many other amazing players in the state. I am so proud of how great of an athlete she is, but most of all i am so proud of the person she is and how she handles herself in her interviews with so much grace and integrity, so humble yet with so much self worth.
I love you so much Booey Bug!!!! And i am so proud of the young woman you have become!!

Kirby named 4A volleyball Player of the Year

Erin Kirby knocks down a kill past Green River?s Julie Oliver in the second game of the state championship match last Saturday. HERALD PHOTO/Kurt Ritzman

Erin Kirby, a senior middle hitter , was named the 4A state volleyball Player of the Year at last weekend's state tournament.
"I was excited because it was my goal from when I was a sophomore to do it by the time I was a senior so that was nice," Kirby said. "It makes me feel good. There are a lot of other really good players. I would watch them and see how good they were. It's cool that coaches see me play and think that about me."
Kirby was a large part of Evanston's 21-6 season that ended with a runner-up finish.
She led the state in Class 4A with 396 kills and 189 solo blocks. She also finished the season with a hitting efficiency of 44 percent, which was second among those finishing the season in the top 10 in kills per game. The third place hitting efficiency in the top 10 was 27 percent.
"I like to block. I worked on blocking a lot when I was a sophomore . I went to a lot of camps this summer and learned a lot," Kirby said. "I was good at blocking, but I couldn't hit as well. I just worked on what I knew I needed to get better at. I worked on the fundamental skills and I gained more confidence."
That hard work and confidence paid off. Kirby had two games with 25 kills one against Natrona and one against Green River. She also had 17 blocks in a match against Star Valley.
"I tried to have a good attitude on the court and be a team player," Kirby said. She also gave credit to the team's setters, Abbey Ehlers and Jessica Chandler.
"They are great setters. They helped me get better with my hitting because I didn't have to adjust too much," Kirby said. "They'd get a good set and I'd get a good hit and it would help with confidence."
Kirby said getting a good set allowed her to do more, or different, things with her kills because she didn't have to make big adjustments just to get to the ball.
"After Monday, I was thinking about (the season). We've enjoyed the whole journey. This year was way fun. We came a long way from last year and we still made history," Kirby said. "It was a good year."

Thursday, November 5, 2009

State Volleyball 2009 Uinta County Herald article.

Evanston senior Erin Kirby (right) hugs junior Alyssa Hagstrom after the Lady Devils defeated Kelly Walsh in the semifinals of the Class 4A state tournament.

Evanston faced Green River for the fifth time this season. This time it was for the Class 4A Championship on Saturday. Unfortunately for Lady Devil fans, the result was a fourth loss for Evanston and a runner-up finish.

“The girls are tough kids and they’re OK,” Evanston coach Tera Lawlar said. “They’re very sad, but very smart. They put it into perspective. We still made history. It was the first time in the championship game. We really enjoyed the whole ride. It was a great season. It’s something they’ll remember forever. On the bus (going home) the girls asked me to go back there and make them feel better. I told them that I wouldn’t trade second place with them for first with any other team.”

The Lady Devils returned every girl, but one from last year’s team that did not qualify for the state tournament.

“I think last year we didn’t have the fight that we had this year,” Katie Thomas said.

Kelsi Thornock said a lot of it was the extra work that the team put in over the off-season.


Evanston started the championship match off very well. The first game stayed close until the Lady Devils were ahead 16-15. Evanston closed the game on a 9-4 run to take the first game 25-19. The run was sparked by two Katie Thomas kills. Erin Kirby, Thornock and Alyssa Hagstrom each had a kill during the run.

Kirby started the second game by dominating the net. She had two kills and a block as the Lady Devils built an early 5-1 lead. Green River was not going to go away though and battled back to take a 7-6 lead.

Evanston went on another long run (17-8) to take a 23-15 lead in the game.

A Katie Thomas block and an ace by Hagstrom started the run.

Kirby knocked down four kills during the streak to keep the momentum with the Lady Devils.

Kirby led the team with 16 kills and nine solo blocks during the title match.

Again Green River fought back. The Lady Wolves cut Evanston’s lead to 24-23 when Lawlar called a time out. After talking things over, Thornock hit a game-winning kill to give Evanston a two game to zero lead.

“We came out great the first two games. We were playing to win and playing strong,” Lawlar said. “(In the third game) I thought we played a little safer. We didn’t play to win. We played not to lose and we got a little complacent.”

The Lady Wolves scored the first six points of the third game. Evanston battled back, but could not get closer than two points. An ace by Green River gave them the third game, 25-14.

The Lady Devils found themselves down big again in game four. Green River built a 19-10 lead. Hagstrom hit a kill. Lauren Thomas got a block and the momentum changed to Evanston. The Lady Devils cut the lead to 23-21, before Green River knocked down a kill to reach game point and Lawlar called a time out.

After the time out, Thornock hit a kill and Kirby got a block to cut the lead to 24-23. The Lady Devils missed their serve, handing the game to Green River and sending the championship match into a decisive fifth game.

Evanston jumped out to an early 4-2 advantage. But the Lady Wolves scored eight of the next 10 points. Trailing 10-6, the Lady Devils couldn’t do enough to come back and lost 15-8.

Green River came from behind to win the championship 19-25, 23-25, 25-14, 25-23, 15-8.

“Before the fifth game, we still believed. We thought we were OK,” Lawlar said. “On point 14, I saw it in their faces, ‘Oh my gosh, what have we done?’ It’s sad. I wish we could have eked it out, obviously. They’ll be OK and I couldn’t be prouder. “

Katie Thomas knocked down 13 kills. Lauren Thomas and Thornock each had six solo blocks.

Jessica Chandler dished out 21 assists and Bernie Gutierrez led the defense with 26 digs.

The Lady Devils went 4-0 this season against Casper teams. Their only losses were to Green River and Bonneville (Idaho).

“They’re great kids and have a lot going for them. We had a great season,” Lawlar said. “Obviously, this is not what we wanted, but they can learn a lot from this.”


On Friday night, Evanston advanced to the school’s first state championship game in volleyball with a 25-18, 19-25, 25-22, 19-25, 15-8 victory over defending state 4A champion Kelly Walsh.

“They’re a really good team. They’re awfully big so they’ll put up a formidable block at the net. They’ll play really hard,” Kelly Walsh Jeff Barkell coach said prior to the match. “I think it will be a good match. They’ll got a lot of weapons and we’ve got a few, too.”

The Lady Devils led 6-5 in the fifth game, when Kelly Walsh blocked a Thornock kill attempt out of bounds. The next point ended on a Katie Thomas kill. After a hitting error by Kelly Walsh, a block by Thornock and another kill by Katie Thomas, the Lady Devils held an 11-5 lead. Chandler served five points in a row during the run.

“I was thinking ‘over and in.’ I’ve never had doubt when I was back there,” Chandler said. “I play for my team. That’s what was going through my head.”

Evanston went on to win the fifth game 15-8.

Katie Thomas had 14 kills in the match. Thornock knocked down eight kills and had nine solo blocks.

The Lady Devils went on a big run in the first game after taking an 11-10 advantage. Evanston outscored Kelly Walsh 7-1 to take an 18-11 lead. The Lady Devils allowed Kelly Walsh to get back in the game and cut the lead to 24-18. Thornock and Breanna Sanders came up with a block to give the game to the Lady Devils.

In the second game, Evanston led 19-17 but Kelly Walsh scored eight points in a row to take the game.

“When we lost, we came out even stronger in the third game,” Chandler said.

After losing the second game, Evanston trailed 19-15 in the third game.

“We were down and (Lawlar) said this was the game we could show how bad we really wanted it,” Kirby said.

A couple of errors by Kelly Walsh brought Evanston within one point. Kirby had a huge block to tie the game. After a Kelly Walsh kill, Kirby came up with another block to tie the game.

“When you get a big kill or block or a good pass, the momentum just changes,” Kirby said.

She finished the match with 16 kills, one hitting error and 13 solo blocks.

“We had heart, while Kelly Walsh had experience. Tera and I were talking and we’d rather have heart than experience any day,” Chandler said.

“I think that’s the most heart we showed all year,” Hagstrom said.

Evanston finished the game out to take a 2-1 lead.

First round

The theme of Evanston’s first round match was comebacks by the Lady Devils as they prevailed 25-23, 25-21, 25-27, 25-10.

The Lady Devils got down 6-0 in the first game, and still trailed 14-12.

“I think we get really nervous when it comes to big games,” Hagstrom said. “We’ve never been this successful or had this experience.”

“This was almost everyone’s first state game, so I think there were jitters,” Kirby said.

Kirby knocked down a kill and then Hagstrom hit an ace to even the score. The Lady Devils were able to hold on to the lead . Kirby hit another kill to give Evanston the first game.

In the second game, Evanston fell behind 4-1. They trailed 15-13, but then scored the next five points to go ahead 18-15.

The Lady Devils got off to a slow start in game three as well, trailing 6-1. This time they were unable to come back.

Thornock started serving in the fourth game and this time Evanston took the lead, getting ahead 8-0 on her serve, including two aces.

“I kind of struggled with serving, so my goal was not to miss at state,” Thornock said. “Every time I went back there, I said ‘I’m going to make it. I’m going to make it.’ As I kept going, it got better.”

The Lady Devils cruised through the game and advanced to the semifinals.

State Player of the Year!!

Evanston's Kirby leads all-state team

Evanston senior Erin Kirby was named the player of the year in Class 4A on Monday while Gillette Jess Reble was named the top defensive player.

Kirby, who led the state in stuff-blocks and kills, and fellow all-stater Kelsi Thornock led the Red Devils to the state championship match, where they lost 3-2 to Green River.

The state champion Wolves were represented on the all-state team by seniors Dani Hardy and Sarah Pickle.

Kirby, who will continue her volleyball career at Wyoming next year; Pickle; and Kelly Walsh's Kayla Fakelman are repeat selections.

Erin's Article in the Casper Star Tribune. front page in the sports section.

Heart Over Heat

Kirby announced in September that she will play volleyball at Wyoming. Kirby also plans on running track at UW when it doesn't interfere with volleyball.

"I've always been better at track," Kirby said, "but I have more of a passion for volleyball."

Track is such an individual sport, and I really like the team aspect of volleyball."

Of course, it doesn't hurt that the 6-foot Kirby is one of the top players in the state.

She leads the state in blocks and kills and is one of the main reasons Evanston entered this weekend's Wyoming State High School Volleyball Championships in Casper as one of the favorites in Class 4A.

"Erin is the complete package," Evanston coach Tera Lawlar said. "But as strong as she is as a player, I think her most valuable asset is that she knows her teammates are just as valuable as she is.

"Statistically, everyone can see how good she is. What makes her stand out even more is she has the ability to make a team better even when she's on the bench."

While Kirby doesn't spend a lot of time watching from the sidelines, Lawlar has the luxury of having a deep-enough team that she can keep Kirby rested.

So when Kirby is on the floor she is usually in attack mode.

She had 12 blocks and 25 kills in Evanston's five-game win at Natrona County on Oct. 10.

"Obviously, Erin is going to get attention when she's on the floor," Lawlar said. "But we're not 'The Erin Kirby Show,' and she knows that. Her humility is amazing."

Kirby said she was weighing her options between volleyball and track when she went to Laramie for a UW match last month. After spending the day hanging out with the players and going into the locker room for coach Carrie Yerty's pre-game speech, Kirby was convinced she wanted to be a Cowgirl.

"I just felt like it was the right place for me," she said. "I first went down for a visit during track and I really liked the coaches. Ever since then, [the coaches] made a point of keeping in touch and really making me feel welcome."

For now, though, Kirby and the Red Devils are focused on bringing the school's first state volleyball championship back to Evanston.

Evanston, the No. 2 seed out of the West, played Cheyenne Central in a first-round match late Thursday.

"I get goose bumps every time I think about it," Kirby said. "It would just be so cool to be the first team to do that.

"It's definitely something that we've talked about."

Contact sports reporter Jack Nowlin at (307) 266-0528 or

Kirby Tracker

WHO: Evanston senior Erin Kirby.

TAKE YOUR PICK: Kirby, a state track champion, received numerous offers to run track in college but chose to play volleyball at Wyoming, where she will also run track on a limited basis.

SHE SAID IT: "Erin is the complete package." -- Evanston coach Tera Lawlar.