Making it count

Improvement more important than records for underclassmen

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Their records weren't outstanding, but that's not always the most telling aspect of a season for JV and freshman teams.

Both coaches for Moffat County's sub-varsity volleyball teams point to their teams' progress as the highlights of the seasons.

"Not one person on the team didn't improve," JV coach Scot Brown said. "They never quit as a team, and we had some big comebacks because of that."

Courtney Jenison liked the way her freshman players learned the team concept by the end of the season.

"They came in never winning a match in middle school," she said. "They came in as a bunch of individuals and learned that to play well, they had to be a team."

The JV team was young with 10 sophomores and two juniors. It finished with a 7-12 record.

"They are a strong serving and passing group," Brown said. "They truly played as a team this year, as well."

Brown said his team's best match of the year was the first match against Rifle. In one game, it trailed 12-1 but came back for the win. Playing as the comeback kids was a trademark for this year's group.

"They never felt like they were out of a game," Brown said. "We could be down by 10 or 12, and we'd always make a game out of it."

For next year, Brown hopes his players will improve as hitters.

"Their attack needs to improve," he said. "They need to be stronger hitters."

The freshmen picked up four more wins than they had in two years of middle school. They finished 4-14.

"So many of those losses were close," Jenison said. "I cared more about how well we played. The girls were the competitive ones who hated to lose."

At the start of the season, some of the freshmen hadn't learned to serve overhand, and they hadn't learned to block. By the end of the season, all of the players were serving overhand, and Jenison said several of the hitters had learned to block consistently.

"The skill-level improvement was important," Jen--ison said. "But learning that it wasn't an individual sport was probably the most important thing they'll take away."

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