Front line earns WSC volleyball awards

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What do four wins and a fourth-place finish in the Western Slope Conference get you?

For the Moffat County High School volleyball team, it earned them three WSC Honorable Mention Team awards. Outside hitters sophomore Brandie Telfer and senior Kate Schafer and middle blocker junior Brittany Hutton were the recipients.

"Throughout the season, those were the girls that the team looked to for some sort of boost," said head coach Rosie Lear. "From Brandie there was always a smile, Kate was always sacrificing her body and hustling all over, and Brittany would provide us with a big block, spike or serve to get us back on track."

For a majority of the season, the three made up the front line of the Bulldogs.

"I think the conference coaches recognized that we had good net players," Hutton said. "If they were going to prepare for us going into a match, that is probably what they looked at."

Kate Schafer outside hitter

Schafer could only think of a couple of reasons why the conference coaches noticed her on the court.

"I think they felt sorry for me because I was always flying into the stands or flopping on the ground," she said. "I'm sure they were thinking, 'Man that girl's crazy, just give her the award.'"

Her teammates noticed the "flopping on the ground" as a good thing.

"Kate was always hustling all over the court," senior Lauren Bergmann said.

"She was a great digger and she sacrificed her body to get those digs."

Lear said Schafer's hustle almost single-handedly won a game or two. "The last regular season game against Battle Mountain, she was diving all over the place and making some great plays," Lear said. "She wasn't going to let us lose that match."

Schafer's athleticism made her what she was on the volleyball court.

"Basketball is my favorite sport but I was able to help the volleyball team so I stayed out," she said. "The difference between the two sports is that in volleyball you have a total dependence on your teammates, which can be a good or a bad thing."

Brittany Hutton middle blocker

Hutton said the district tournament in her sophomore year is where she gained the confidence as a hitter.

"I played for a girl that couldn't be in the tournament and felt I did pretty well," she said. "I worked hard in the off-season and it paid off this year."

Her fellow award winners said why they thought she received the award.

"Brittany made some great blocks for us," Telfer said. "She is one of the hardest workers in the game of volleyball we have."

"She provided us height," Schafer said. "She would get up and have some powerful hits."

Hutton said she plans to play volleyball throughout the year and continue to work hard on her game.

"I need to work on my jumping and hitting," she said. "My goal next year is to be All-Conference."

Brandie Telfer outside hitter

Telfer credits a position change as part of the reason she was named to the team. After moving from setter to outside hitter, Telfer said she felt more in place on the court this season.

"I think I was more suited to be an outside hitter," Telfer said. "That might be why the coaches recognized me for the award."

Telfer led the team in kills in 10 matches and, according to Lear, led the team in smiles.

"Brandie always had a positive attitude," Lear said. "She was almost always smiling and she was the most consistent player for us."

Bergmann said Telfer's presence on the court was appreciated by her teammates.

"Brandie was always there in the huddle settling us down and keeping it light," she said.

All three said they believed that they weren't the only ones that deserved to be named to the team.

"We really didn't have any standouts," Telfer said. "I think any of us could have received the award."

David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 or dpressgrove@craigdailypress.com.

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