Tasha Romney, right, celebrates after spiking a ball against Rifle High School on Thursday. Moffat County's volleyball teams were all successful against Rifle, with the C-team winning and the junior varsity winning, 2-0, and the varsity winning, 3-0.

Photo by Shawn McHugh

Tasha Romney, right, celebrates after spiking a ball against Rifle High School on Thursday. Moffat County's volleyball teams were all successful against Rifle, with the C-team winning and the junior varsity winning, 2-0, and the varsity winning, 3-0.

MCHS volleyball teams successful against Rifle

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MCHS' Lindsey Yoast returns the ball against a wall of Rifle High School defenders in the second set of Thursday's varsity volleyball game against the Bears.

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Lindsey Yoast prepares to block a Rifle High School shot during the Moffat County High School girls varsity volleyball game Thursday. Moffat County won, 3-0.

Results

Box score from Thursday night's Moffat County High School varsity volleyball game versus Rifle High School

Team 1 2 3 final

Moffat County 25 25 25 3

Rifle 17 17 18 0

Although she would have preferred to crash another team's homecoming celebration, Jessica Matthews was more than happy to have won hers.

The junior libero said her team wanted to leave no doubt in front of the home crowd.

In winning, 3-0, the varsity team did just that Thursday night at Moffat County High School.

"Personally, I like to spoil someone else's homecoming," she said. "It kind of crushes the crowd's excitement."

But winning in front of a loud home crowd was just fine with her.

"It was super exciting," she said. "There was a lot of pressure, and we were trying our hardest to win our homecoming. It was our turn to dominate."

The varsity team capped off a volleyball sweep of the Bears, with the C-team and junior varsity teams winning, 2-0.

In the final game of the evening, Moffat County never trailed until the third set.

"It was a good game, but I thought we could have cleaned it up more," Matthews said. "It was a chance to showcase what we can do, but we won, so we did something right."

At times, Moffat County was able to dominate.

"I think all over, everyone hit well, and we didn't have any weak points," Matthews said. "I thought we were able to dig alright, and we had a few kills in."

Coach Brianna Montgomery-Braun said Moffat County's homecoming game is always special.

"I think it's really important for the girls," Montgomery-Braun said. "Homecoming is really big for them, and it's exciting to have the support of the crowd."

Overall, her team could have been even more dominant, Montgomery-Braun said.

"They played really well at times, but it got a little sloppy," she said. "I thought we serve-received well, and I saw some great swings and great hits."

With the team's win against Rifle, the varsity moved another step closer to the playoffs.

With eight teams in the Western Slope League, only six will advance to the district playoffs.

Should Moffat County beat Delta High School on Oct. 24 in Delta, the Bulldogs will move on.

Rifle coach Heather Sulkowski said her team is focused more on rebuilding than the playoffs.

"We did not do well tonight," she said. "I thought our hitters struggled at times."

Although the play was not where she had hoped, Sulkowski said libero Adrienne Schmidt and middle hitter Kalli Leigh both played well.

Sulkowski said her team's problems are mental, not physical.

"In practice, they play really well," she said. "But, we don't play the same in games - in tight situations, we croak. That's something we need to overcome."

To get over the hump, the Bears will continue to work hard, and Sulkowski, a first-year coach, plans on rebuilding the program.

"We're going to work on tough situations in practice," she said. "We are going to work on fundamentals on the JV and C-teams."

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