After two sets of play Saturday afternoon, the Bulldogs were looking formidable on the volleyball court.
But, as the match progressed, their Panther opponents fired back with everything they had.
The Moffat County High School varsity volleyball team (5-9 overall, 2-5 Western Slope League) lost their weekend bout with Delta (7-7, 4-4), 3-1, the second match of the season they have lost to the team.
With a Sept. 18 game at Delta still in their minds, the Bulldogs were ready to change things up after losing the first set, 25-18. Coming out on top in the second set, 25-19, the team was ready to keep the energy going.
“We were feeling pretty confident, and then I don’t know what happened,” senior Kelly Syvertson said.
The score remained close in the third set before Delta pulled ahead, partly because of frequent volleys, which had both teams scrambling.
“There were a lot of long volleys, but we just didn’t come out on the right end of some of them,” MCHS coach Sandy Camilletti said.
Delta finished strong in the third set, 25-15, and continued with an early lead in the fourth. With powerful hits from Syvertson, senior Lauren Roberts and sophomore Makayla Camilletti, MCHS made a move to overtake them, but Delta had too much of a head start, closing the game and the match, 25-18.
Although the results were the same from the previous Delta game, Syvertson said she and the rest of the team had improved greatly compared to their last meeting with the Panthers.
“We had better coverage, and we did better on hits and passing,” she said.
But, Syvertson said she and the team could still improve more.
“We played alright but not to our full potential,” she said. “I think I could’ve done my job better for my team.”
Throughout the match, the Bulldogs struggled with timing, either jumping too soon for spikes and blocks, or diving too late to keep the ball off the floor.
“We were there, but it was just off,” Syvertson said.
Sandy said her team was hesitant.
“We just watched a little bit too much in those last two games instead of being ready and being aggressive,” she said.
Sandy said she plans to have the team work on passing for the team’s next game, a home match Tuesday against Palisade.
“We’ll have to be ready for them,” she said. “They’re a pretty tough team.”
Palisade has an overall record of 9-6, with a 6-1 mark in the Western Slope League.
Syvertson said she wants to return the favor to Palisade after the Bulldogs lost to them earlier in the season.
“I think we all want to prove to them that we can beat them,” she said.