The home gym advantage didn't come through for the Moffat County Bulldogs varsity volleyball team Saturday.
During the Best of the West tournament held in Craig, Moffat County High School (MCHS) opened the season with an up-and-down performance.
The Bulldogs finished the tournament with a 1-2 record. MCHS began the day in pool play, and Hotchkiss downed the Bulldogs, 15-2, 15-8. In the second match of pool play MCHS beat Hayden, 15-8, 15-7.
"We got better each game that we played in the tournament," said coach Vicki Haddan. "We started out really slow against Hotchkiss and we weren't very warmed up. Then we finally got warm and we beat Hayden in two."
MCHS moved into the championship bracket, losing in the first round to the 1998 Class 4A state championship runner up, Steamboat Springs. The Sailors outlasted the Bulldogs, 15-11, and 15-9.
"I thought that we improved each time out and that is what I am looking for," said Haddan. "Steamboat Springs is a great team and they have a great coach. She always has them ready to go."
In the Steamboat Springs contest, the Sailors jumped to an early 6-0 lead before MCHS scored five straight points to pull within one, 6-5. Steamboat Springs scored four points to go up, 10-5.
MCHS cut the score to 10-7, but the Sailors bounced back to 12-8, and then cruised to the four-point victory.
"If we could have settled down early in the first game we would have been all right," said Haddan.
In the second game, the Bulldogs jumped ahead, 5-2 ,in the early stages. Steamboat Springs then scored 10 unanswered points for a 12-5 lead and never looked back.
"We just have to get past all those little low spots in the game and if we get past those spots we will be fine," said Haddan. "The kids showed today that they are in great shape."
Haddan already knows what the Bulldogs will work on in practice.
"This week in practice we will work on defense and adding some more offensive attacks," said Haddan. "Those will be the two things that we will work on the most."
The Bulldogs will next be in action at 7 p.m. Thursday on the road against West Grand. The freshmen team plays at 5 p.m. with the junior varsity taking the court at 6 p.m. Saturday, MCHS varsity will host Uintah at 6 p.m. with the freshmen playing at 4 p.m. and the sophmores at 5 p.m.