After winning the first two games Monday against Hayden High School's girls varsity volleyball team, Moffat County High School's junior varsity appeared to be on a roll.
Then, the Tigers clawed their way back in.
Playing in Hayden, the Tigers won the third game, before blazing its way to a 25-7 win in the fourth game.
But Becky Otterman's team never gave up.
In the decisive fifth game, the Lady Bulldogs rallied to pull out an 18-16 victory.
After her team's 18-point loss in the fourth game, JV coach Otterman huddled her team.
"I told them they needed to find their tempo, to find their leadership," she said. "And they found it."
Otterman, who had previously coached for the Tigers, said the most exciting part of the match was how her team rallied around each other.
"It was so exciting to see my girls come together against a good team," she said. "They impress me every day, and today they played through the whole game."
Sophomore Jordan Field said her team never gave up.
"It was a great day," Field said.
"We fought to the end, and it was a really close game."
Field said the team's temporary breakdown in the fourth set was because of a lack of communication.
"We weren't talking to each other," the outside hitter said. "We weren't moving."
But the short chat between the fourth and fifth games got the team back on track, she said.
"After the pep talk, we stepped it up," Field said. "We started talking more."
Freshman squad rolls
The JV volleyball team was not alone in its Hayden victory Monday.
The boys freshman football team continued its solid play with a 28-0 victory against Hayden's junior varsity squad.
On a cold day with temperatures around 40 degrees, and snow peppering the playing field, the young Bulldogs stayed hot in running their record to 6-0.
Coach Ken Olinger said the offense and defense continued to impress.
"It was a complete game on both sides of the ball," he said. "Every member of the team got to play today, and everyone played hard."
Olinger, who calls the defensive plays, said the Bulldogs refused to let the Tigers gain any ground.
"We pitched a shutout," he said. "I think they only had a few first downs, and they hardly had any yards."
Matt Ray, who calls the offensive plays, said the team managed to move the ball despite less-than-ideal conditions.
"They were able to score 28 points on a JV team - they played well," he said. "They were slipping on the ice and snow, but they overcame it. They adjusted and kept going."
Ben Bulkeley can be reached at 875-1795 or firstname.lastname@example.org