The Devils painted an all too familiar picture Thursday night against the Moffat County volleyball team.
After Eagle Valley won the first two games, Moffat easily took the third, came from behind to win the fourth, and mounted a giant rally in the fifth. But enough was enough for the Devils, who won their first home match of the year, 26-24, 25-19, 11-25, 23-25, 15-11.
"We can't lose any chance to play volleyball," joked Eagle Valley coach Rob Crawford. "We wanted to play five games. After two, we didn't think it was enough. It goes back to learning how to finish."
Moffat, coming off a win Tuesday against rival Steamboat Springs, showed resilience in its comebacks.
"They did put in a good scare," Moffat coach Brianna Montgomery said. "We played a lot better Tuesday, and I know the girls have a lot more to give."
In the fifth game, Eagle Valley jumped out to a 14-3 lead, only to see Moffat win the next eight points.
"We got stuck in this one rotation, and we couldn't get out of it," Eagle Valley's Michelle Parmenter said. "We had a bunch of hard hits, but they kept going out."
Finally, it was a tip by Parmenter that lifted the Devils.
Moffat built an early lead in the third game and took advantage of Eagle Valley mistakes. The Devils were poised to wrap up the match in the next game, carrying a 19-13 lead, but the Bulldogs stormed back to take a 19-18 lead. Both teams traded leads over the next few points until Moffat closed out the game, thanks to Eagle Valley errors.
"Our mistakes increased a lot, and that's what gave them a few more points," Parmenter said. "Our passing was a little off."
Eagle Valley started the match with accurate passing and a strong attack.
"I think that had a lot to do with Michelle, Allissa (Hollis) and Ashley (Farenholtz)," said Eagle Valley's Summer Forsyth.
Moffat took advantage of a lapse in Eagle Valley's passing later on and often put up a double block on outside hitters.
"When we weren't passing well, Moffat knew where we were going, and they could put that up," Crawford said. "When we passed well, our middles got kills and were hitting against solo blocks."
Forsyth, Ryanne Wilson, Megan Struve and Kim Willey held down the middle for the Devils, and Whitney VanVoorst and Kelsey Foster switched off setting.
For the Bulldogs, Amy Dilldine had solid blocks and kills.
Of the countless momentum swings, the most important for Eagle Valley may have been in the first game when the Devils trailed 24-23, then won the next three points.
Moffat nearly erased a 22-12 deficit in the second game after a slew of Eagle Valley errors, but with the score at 22-19, VanVoorst and Parmenter kills pulled the Devils away.
Crawford credits Parmenter with helping his team keep composure and help finish off the match.
"You can see her after we made eight errors in a row, and she's still holding up our team with a smile on her face. She's a better human than I am, I'll tell you that. She was hitting well, and she never faltered. Her game doesn't falter, and that's really nice."