By ELWOOD K. SHELTON
Daily Press writer
Relaxed and tense make a big difference.
Coach Vicki Haddan watched the difference between the two Tuesday night during the volleyball team's three-set win over the Battle Mountain Huskies.
When her team was relaxed, as they were in the second set, they won 15-2. When her team was tense, which was the rest of the game, the teams stayed within two points of each other.
The match was the pig-tail game to decide who filled out the final bracket at the district tournament in Cortez.
"The girls were very tense and nervous before the game, and it did result in some errors," Haddan said. "But you can expect nerves in a game like this, where you're just fighting to keep the season going."
The season will keep going this Friday and Saturday at the district tournament, where the Lady Bulldogs will meet the team they upset last Friday Glenwood Springs. The Glenwood Springs Demons (9-3) became the Western Slope Conference Champions Saturday when they beat Steamboat Springs, but not before losing to the Lady Bulldogs in two sets.
Facing the Demons was the least of the Lady 'Dogs' worries Tuesday night, when they faced a team of Huskies (2-16) that just wouldn't quit.
"We let them hang around too long. Really we should have had two sets like the second set, and been out of there," Haddan said. "We ended up playing down to their level instead of just going out there and playing our game."
The Lady Bulldogs had it easy only once Tuesday night, when in the second game they rolled up six points before the Huskies scored their first, and continued on to win the game 15-2.
The rest of the game the Lady 'Dogs had to fight for every point.
The first set opened with Battle Mountain breaking the ice, placing a hit over the Moffat County blockers. The Lady Bulldogs retaliated after a sideout with a Amber Sanchez's kill tying the game.
The set bounced back and forth within one point, with play marred with mistakes on both sides of the net.
Even with the Huskies serving the ball out-of-bounds more than six times in the set, the Lady Bulldogs couldn't get past their tense play, and lost 15-13.
The second set was all the Lady 'Dogs. The girls elevated their play, and smoked the Huskies 15-2.
The set was marked by aggressive net play by Sanchez and well-placed shots by seniors Katie Telfer and Ashliegh Gregg.
The final set of the night was played like the first close.
Moffat County broke the ice with what became a staple for points, a Huskies out-of-bounds hit.
The Huskies rallied back after trailing by a point, and ran their score up to four.
The Lady 'Dogs trailed the Huskies most of the set, but kept it close until tying it at nine. The team edged close to 15 points and a win, but got muddled by poor play.
The Bulldogs finally won the match when Sanchez blocked a Husky kill attempt and the set ended 15-12.
Three seniors led the way on offense; Sanchez, Gregg and Telfer combined for 26 kills, with Sanchez contributing the most with 13.
"It feels so much better to have this game over," Gregg said. "There's just so much pressure lifted off us knowing were going to play at districts."