Craig By talking to both head coaches after Thursday's volleyball match between Moffat County and Eagle Valley, one would have thought they were watching different matches during the Bulldogs' four-game victory.
"Our passing wasn't always as good as it could be tonight," said Eagle Valley coach Rob Crawford. "I was really impressed with how Moffat passed. We couldn't get their setter away from the ball tonight."
So Moffat coach Brianna Montgomery must have been happy with her team's passing, right?
"I actually was really impressed with the way (Eagle Valley) passes," she said. "I really didn't think our passing was very good until the final two games."
What Montgomery did like was what she is starting to see as a trend for her Bulldogs - steady, consistent play.
"We didn't give up any big runs," she said. "This is such a talented team. I think that they can play better than steady. I think they can play with more fire."
The Bulldogs looked to have more fire in the third and fourth game. After splitting the first two games, 25-16, 22-25, Moffat County finished with game wins, 25-12, 25-18.
"If you look at our passing the third and fourth game, we started to be less timid," Montgomery said. "That's when we started to take control."
In the first two games, Eagle Valley kept the Bulldogs off balance with eight points off of quick sets, where the hitter comes in right over the top of the setter.
"We worked on that a lot, but we still weren't quite catching on," Montgomery said.
The Devils are without starting setter Kelsey Foster, who went down during Tuesday's match against Battle Mountain. Freshman Shelby Wright has stepped in and played admirably, according to Crawford.
"Shelby is playing well as a freshman," he said. "What we're missing with Kelsey is the fire she brings."
Later in the match, the quick sets weren't as successful for the Devils and it showed in the score.
The Bulldogs kept the Devils off-balance on defense by spreading the ball around. Kari Griffin led the Bulldog attack with 10 kills. Right behind her was Angie Charchalis who slammed home eight, Amy Dilldine, who finished off seven passes and Workman, who put down six.
"Angie had some big ones tonight," Montgomery said. "Overall, though I thought everyone played well at some point."
Despite the late letdown, Crawford said he thought his team played better on Thursday than it did on Tuesday against Battle Mountain.
"We have a lot of good things to work on," he said.
And he laid out a word of caution for Battle Mountain, who faces the Bulldogs on Saturday.
"Moffat should give Battle Mountain a good test," he said.
Next up for the Devils (3-3 overall, 0-2 WSL) is Steamboat Springs at home on Saturday.
The Bulldogs (3-1, 1-1) come right back today and host Montrose at 5 p.m.