Before the match against Rifle, the Moffat County High School volleyball team huddled in the locker room and planned for a victory.
"We got together and said 'This is a win tonight and this is how we're going to do it,'" junior Jenna Stiefel said. "It pumped us up and we seemed a lot more focused than Rifle tonight."
The Bulldogs had been preparing for their 15-9, 15-7 win over the Bears since Saturday's loss to Eagle Valley. According to head coach Rosie Lear, the practices were a key to the team's play Thursday.
"The girls were focused on regaining confidence this week in practice," she said. "The losses to Steamboat and Eagle Valley were tough on us mentally but we put it together tonight and played well."
Junior Brittany Hutton and sophomore Brandie Telfer led the Bulldog attack with four kills apiece. Senior Kate Schafer also contributed three kills.
"It was a well-balanced attack," Lear said. "We worked as a team and that was the key to the win."
Stiefel said she thought an important part of the match was that the team learned from its mistakes.
"We covered our blocks really well tonight, something we hadn't been doing," she said. "There were a lot fewer mistakes and we showed a lot of improvement."
The victory was the first in conference play for the Bulldogs and first win against Rifle in two seasons.
"It's exhilarating to go down to Rifle and get the win," Stiefel said. "The confidence we gained from tonight is going to keep us going for a while."