The addition of Eagle Valley and the emergence of Battle Mountain stiffened the competition in volleyball for the Western Slope League this year. It also spread out the First-Team All-League awards.
"I went in to the meeting knowing we were going to have a tough time getting a lot of honors," said coach Becky Howlett.
A sixth-place finish in the eight-team league allowed the Bulldogs two honorable-mention awards. Senior Brandie Telfer and junior Mari Katherine Raftopoulos received the awards.
"I believe that Brandie deserved to be on the first team," Howlett said. "But the awards are based more on team accomplishments than individual ability."
For the third consecutive year, Telfer earned an honorable mention award. She led the team in nearly every category.
"Brandie was our powerhouse," Howlett said. "If we needed to get the ball over she was the one to do it."
Among her team-leading statistics Telfer was the Bulldogs' best in serve percentage (93), kill percentage (83), assists (2.7 a match), and digs (4.4 a match).
She was in the top 10 in the state in digs.
"It's cool to look and see that even at the end of the season she's in the top 10 in digs," Howlett said. "That was her specialty."
Raftopoulos' provided punch up front with 75 percent accuracy in attacks.
A statistic that stuck out for Howlett was the junior's blocking ability.
"She blocked so well I'm thinking about moving her around next year," the coach said.
Raftopoulos is one of four starters who returns next year. Howlett looks to her to be a leader.
"I hope to see improved leadership on and off the court," Howlett said.
"If she can learn to predict better and gain some confidence, she'll be a powerhouse in the league next year. I expect her to only get better between now and then because she's such a good athlete."