Tasting success

Bulldogs volleyball looks to the future with anticipation, hope

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When Brianna Montgomery took over the Moffat County volleyball program midseason, she wasn't quite sure what to expect. But as the season progressed, it became apparent that her team had the potential to be successful.

"The season went really good for what the girls had been through," Montgomery said.

Montgomery took over for former coach Becky Jackson, who resigned before the first home game of the season. Interim coaches filled the void until Montgomery was hired.

"Coming in midseason was tough," Montgomery said. "Mostly because (Becky and I) had different ideas."

Montgomery was pleased with the response she received from the players and the turnaround they had, especially because many discredit the Bulldogs as a team.

"The girls like being the underdog," Montgomery said.

Angie Charchalis agreed with her coach, saying many teams expected them to walk into the gym and not understand the game.

"No one expected us to go as far as we did," Charchalis said. "I just wish we could have beat Skyline."

The Bulldogs advanced to the regional tournament last week after stunning Delta and Mullen high schools at the district level.

Going in against the top team in the state, the Sterling Tigers, the Bulldogs played hard, but fell short. Up next was Skyline, but again, playing tough wasn't good enough for Moffat County. Nonetheless, the team was impressed with themselves and that they did something so many told them they couldn't.

"I love to surprise people," Charchalis said. "The teams (at the regional tournament) were surprised we could even get it over the net."

Montgomery said the good outweighed the bad this season.

"We had a lot of support from the parents," Montgomery said. "And the fact that the season didn't go the way people thought. The whole season was really satisfying."

One of the highest points was when Moffat County beat Steamboat Springs, a feat that hadn't been accomplished in more than a decade.

And now, with the season over, Montgomery is making plans for the future -- she's organizing summer programs and camps.

With nine players slated to return next year as seniors, Montgomery knows her team can and should be a force.

"It's exciting," Montgomery said. "They're a neat group of girls. And hopefully the leadership from this season will carry over into next season. I think the summer program is going to help a lot with dedication."

With the experience of this past season under their belts, Charchalis knows she and her teammates can contend.

"I think we can start next year where we left off," Charchalis said.

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