With two matches in two different locations, Saturday saw some varying results for the Moffat County High School varsity volleyball team.
But, for MCHS senior Annie Sadvar, one of the most important elements in the afternoon game was not on the court, but in the stands.
And, in a smaller venue, the cheering crowd had a noticeable effect on the home team.
The Bulldogs won the second of two Saturday games, defeating Battle Mountain, 3-1, at Craig Middle School. The game took place at CMS because of the preparations for the Homecoming dance at the high school, where the team lost a morning game to Eagle Valley, 3-0.
Sadvar said the difference between the morning game and the afternoon game was considerable.
“It really wasn’t good playing Eagle Valley first,” she said. “We were still feeling bummed out about losing to Steamboat, and we were kind of expecting to lose.”
Eagle Valley swept the Bulldogs in three sets — 25-10, 25-11, 25-21.
“We lacked focus, and we were against a big, hard-hitting team,” coach Sandy Camilletti said.
Once the team took the court against Battle Mountain at CMS, it looked like a repeat performance, as the Huskies dominated in the beginning of the first set, but with the Bulldogs down 11-5, a rally began with a strong serve by Sadvar.
The Bulldogs quickly caught up and overtook Battle Mountain, with senior Lauren Roberts closing the first set, 25-23, with a spike. The second set started much the same way, though the team took charge to narrow the margin this time around, 25-17, with strong blocking led by junior Adrie Camp.
The team faltered in the third set, losing 25-18, which Camilletti said was partly because of CMS’s low ceiling costing her team a crucial point.
However, the smaller venue had its advantages, as well.
The crowd was about the same size as the one in attendance at the Eagle Valley game, but in CMS’s smaller gym, the chanting and cheers were amplified considerably.
Spurred on by the energy of the crowd, the team came roaring back in the fourth and strongest set of the match, winning 25-14.
Sadvar said part of the force behind the team was the cheering section, consisting of the freshmen and junior varsity teams, among other fans.
“The noise definitely helped,” Sadvar said. “We did a lot better.”
Sadvar said she thought the varsity team “could still do better,” but she and her coach were glad for the victory.
“It felt good that we got a win,” Camilletti said, referring to the tough week the team had between the Eagle Valley game and the neck-and-neck loss Thursday to Steamboat Springs.
“Hopefully, we can keep this momentum going,” Sadvar said.
The Bulldogs’ record stands at 5-8 overall, 2-4 in the Western Slope League. Their next game is at home Saturday against Delta, who beat the Bulldogs 3-1 earlier in the season.
“It’s time for revenge,” Camilletti said.