Moffat County volleyball falls to Steamboat, 3-0, to start regular season | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County volleyball falls to Steamboat, 3-0, to start regular season

Moffat County High School's Mattie Jo Duzik and Steamboat Springs' Maddi Clock go up for the ball on both sides of the net during the Lady Bulldogs' Thursday game against the Sailors in Craig. Steamboat swept Moffat County with sets of 25-16, 25-13 and 25-18.

— A match-up with Yampa Valley rivals is always an exciting one for the Moffat County High School sports, and Thursday's volleyball varsity game against Steamboat Springs was no exception.

The Sailors topped the Lady Bulldogs in three straight sets, 25-16, 25-13, 25-18 to start Moffat County's regular season.

Steamboat, on a hot streak after a 4-0 weekend at the Demon Invitational in Glenwood Springs, proved a quick and challenging opponent, MCHS players and coaches said after the match.

"We're just not used to that kind of speed," said senior Bulldog Morgan Lawton. "We were there, just a second too slow."

Coach Starla Jensen noted that though her athletes were a small step behind at times, overall court coverage was still good.

"I am super excited by what I saw, the girls stepped out ready to play right off the bat," she said.

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The first set saw Steamboat with the advantage, ahead by as much as nine points at three junctures, and the Sailors came out even stronger in the second round, with seven unanswered points following the Bulldogs' opening score with a serve by Charli Earle that caught them off-guard.

Things grew more heated late in the third set, as an embattled Moffat County defense fought harder than ever to turn the tide, but little by little Steamboat got to the 25-point mark first.

Sailor coach Wendy Hall said she was impressed with the Bulldog offense, with one spike after another from Mattie Jo Duzik, Leah Camilletti and other MCHS girls showing a weakness in her team's blocking.

"I felt like that could have been a lot more consistent, we weren't closing that very well," Hall said.

Still, with Steamboat senior Jenna Miller recording 10 kills during the night and several of her teammates close behind, there was little cause for complaint.

"It was a good offensive balance for us," Hall said.

The Sailors continue their extended road trip to Grand Junction to meet with Central Friday for a non-conference game. The 4A team, 1-1 in regular season play, won't be on its home court until Sept. 22, which happens to give them a rematch with Moffat County.

Meanwhile, the Lady Dogs, 0-1, have another tournament in store this weekend, as they will meet Centauri, Wheat Ridge and Western Slope foes Olathe and Basalt at a gathering Friday and Saturday in Delta.

The league season will start Sept. 19 when Roaring Fork comes to town, and Jensen said if the energy stays at the same level, the team should be in good shape.

"That's the hardest they've come out to start a season. Good hustle by everybody," she said.

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.

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