Emily White sets up for a bump during volleyball practice at the Moffat County High School gym. The MCHS volleyball team has seven seniors and a host of returning upperclassmen, giving the Bulldogs high hopes for the upcoming 2013 season.

Photo by Nate Waggenspack

Emily White sets up for a bump during volleyball practice at the Moffat County High School gym. The MCHS volleyball team has seven seniors and a host of returning upperclassmen, giving the Bulldogs high hopes for the upcoming 2013 season.

Moffat County volleyball brings experienced group to 2013

2013 Moffat County volleyball schedule

Aug. 30-31 at Glenwood Springs tournament

Sept. 5 6:30 p.m. at Rifle

Sept. 6-7 at home tournament

Sept. 12 6 p.m. at Coal Ridge

Sept. 14 1 p.m. vs. Basalt

Sept. 19 6 p.m. at Gunnison

Sept. 20 5 p.m. at Olathe

Sept. 21 3 p.m. vs. Grand Valley

Sept. 24 6:30 p.m. vs. Roaring Fork

Sept. 26 6 p.m. vs. Coal Ridge

Oct. 1 6:30 p.m. at Grand Valley

Oct. 8 5 p.m. vs. Cedaredge

Oct. 10 6 p.m. at Aspen

Oct. 15 6 p.m. vs. Rifle

Oct. 25-26 District tournament at Grand Junction Central

It’s going to be a new-look season for the Moffat County High School volleyball team in 2013.

In addition to the new uniforms the team will be sporting this season, the Bulldogs also have a new head coach at the helm of the team this year. Starla Jensen will lend her volleyball experience to the Bulldogs for the 2013 season.

“I still play volleyball competitively,” Jensen said. “I love the game; it’s been a big part of my life. I had a high school coach who I’m still close to. So I want to give back what I was given.”

Moffat County struggled last season in its first year in the 3A Western Slope League. Yet despite coming off a 5-16 record and working with a new coach, there is optimism because among all the other changes, a large group of returning players will bring stability to the team.

“We’ve got a lot of juniors and seniors on the team this year,” said incoming senior Shaye Zimmerman. “It’s way exciting from past years. We lost two seniors, so the rest of us have all played together since seventh grade.”

Zimmerman is one of seven seniors planning on playing for the Bulldogs this season. Having that base is something the players and coaches see as a major positive.

“We have a great class of juniors and seniors that have been welcoming to the freshmen and sophomores,” said assistant coach Trish McGee.

Expectations for the season, which begins in Glenwood Springs Aug. 30, are still very much up in the air. Jensen is still trying to learn more about what her team can do.

“We haven’t gotten to hitting yet,” Jensen said of the team’s preseason work. “I have no expectations other than they come every day and put in the work. I’ve gotten familiar with some of the girls over the summer, and there has been so much growth every time we’re done in the gym.”

Enjoying their final season is a premium for the seniors on the team, something that won’t require a state championship. They say they are already having fun, but a few more wins wouldn’t hurt.

“I want to make the playoffs,” said Brittany Walker. “Last year, we made it to districts, and if we had won another game there, we would have made it (to the playoffs). So it would be cool to get there.”

Regardless of the results, Zimmerman said she is focused on making the most of her final volleyball season.

“Especially since it’s senior year, I’m excited,” she said. “I don’t want it to be my last year, but now that it’s here, I’m actually pretty excited for it — trying to lead the younger girls and keeping a positive environment.”

Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@craigdailypress.com

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