Volleyball win welcomes back senior

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Welcome back Sanchez.

Moffat County senior April Sanchez played in her first official high school volleyball game in two years Thursday, and she loved it.

"It was great," she said. "There were times when I thought too hard, but we played well as a team."

The Bulldogs defeated Meeker 25-21, 14-25, 25-21, 25-18. It was the second time in five years the Ladies in Blue opened up the season with a win.

"Blocking really did it for us," coach Becky Jackson said. "We shut them down in the net."

The Bulldog blocking didn't come to life until the third game. After a letdown in the second game, Moffat came back from a 7-10 deficit in the third. The defining moment in the game was Sanchez's powerful kill to give her team a 23-20 lead.

"Man that was nice," Jackson said. "April is so much stronger in the upper body after her rehab. She's still figuring out what to do with that strength."

The Cowgirls and Bulldogs met last weekend for a scrimmage, and Sanchez and Jackson said they thought their team performed better than six days ago.

"We fixed the holes we had against them last weekend," Sanchez said.

"Meeker is a good team for what division they're in," Jackson said. "In volleyball all that matters is the six players you've got out there, and they have some good ones. I really thought our middle and outsides started to read things well, and it made the difference."

In the fourth game, the Bulldogs took an early 5-3 lead and extended it to 12-5 on a five-point rally behind sophomore Angie Charchalis' serve. Meeker would come no closer than within six points the rest of the game.

"We really executed in the fourth game," Sanchez said. "That was when it really felt good to be back."

The girls have little time to savor the victory. Their next opponent is Steamboat Springs on Thursday.

"I really think if any team is going to beat us this year it's because of our mental mistakes," Jackson said. "We fought back well tonight and showed some mental toughness."

Meeker didn't go home winless. The Cowgirls JV won 25-23 and 25-19.

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