CMS 8th-grade volleyball A-team falls to Baggs

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Craig Middle School volleyball box scores:

Eighth-grade A-team

(Team, 1st Set. 2nd Set, 3rd Set)

CMS, 25, 27, 6

Baggs, 20, 29, 15

Result: 2-1L

Season record: 5-3

Eighth-grade B-team

(Team, 1st Set, 2nd Set)

CMS, 25, 25

Baggs, 13, 6

Result: 2-0W

Season record: 5-0

Seventh-grade A-team

(Team, 1st Set, 2nd Set)

CMS, 28, 25

Baggs, 26, 5

Result: 2-0W

Season record: 5-3

Note: The seventh-grade B team played the game’s first set.

A game ending in a loss can be almost as worthwhile as a win, as long as it’s hard-fought.

Craig Middle School volleyball coach Michelle Henderson was pleased to see this lesson sink in for her players in their most recent game.

The eighth-grade A-team suffered a 2-1 loss during their final home game of the season against Little Snake River Valley School in Baggs, Wyo.

CMS gained a comfortable lead midway through the first set, going on to win 25-20. The following set was a back-and-forth battle as both teams jockeyed for the lead.

Though the Bulldogs covered the court well and stayed vigilant at the net, they failed to close the win, as Baggs finished the set, 29-27. Baggs’ energy carried them through the tie-breaker, clinching with a 15-6 victory.

Henderson said she was glad to see her players show such determination, a marked improvement compared to their last game against LSRV.

“They were definitely playing a lot better, and even though it came with a loss it was still good volleyball,” she said. “They’ve really come a long way this season.”

The A-team’s loss puts their record at 5-3.

Henderson’s B-team had better luck in the Thursday games, beating Baggs handily, 2-0. Despite a slow start, the team gained momentum to finish 25-13 in the first set, parlaying that into a whirlwind 25-6 conclusion in the second.

B-team member Erin Fagan said a solid week of practices helped them prepare, as did their recent win in Rangely.

“I think we could still work harder even though we won,” she said. “We’re going to continue to fight all the way.”

The eighth-grade B-team remains the only undefeated CMS team, maintaining a 5-0 record. They did not play against Baggs the first time around because of the Wyoming team’s size restrictions.

LSRV coach Jessica Weber said she spreads sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders across A-, B- and C-team rosters.

“Craig has always been a really good team and a very competitive team for us,” she said. “They always give us a good game.”

Weber said she was glad to see her A-team come back after the B- and C-teams were swept by CMS.

While the eighth-grade B-team played Baggs’ B squad, the combined efforts of the seventh-grade teams took on the C-team.

Seventh-grade coach Cristy Simpson said she decided to use both her teams at the last minute, with the B-team playing the first set, winning a neck-and-neck race, 28-26. The A-team finished Baggs off, 25-5, with the quickest set of the night.

Although the win goes strictly to the A-team, Simpson said the B-team’s spirit helped carry the game.

“We had a lot better attitude, a lot more confidence and we all just played a lot better because of that,” she said.

The last game of the CMS regular season is Oct. 8 in Steamboat Springs.

“Steamboat’s going to be a lot of work, but we’re going to keep pressing on,” Simpson said.

Henderson agreed Steamboat will be a tough competitor, but based on her team’s performance, she believes they will stand up well.

“They’ve regained their focus, and I foresee them really playing tough,” Henderson said.

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