Break out the brooms: Moffat County volleyball sweeps Aspen
The Moffat County High School volleyball might want to consider bringing a cleaning crew with them to away games, because once the MoCo student section broke out the brooms, a Saturday sweep was all but a certainty.
MCHS went 3-0 over the weekend at home against the Aspen Skiers, with sets of 25-13, 25-11 and 25-17.
The afternoon ended with an ace by Abbe Adams, as Bulldog fans sent up a big cheer, particularly the crowd of student spectators who kept the day lively by pounding the bleachers with their feet during Skier serves and celebrated every Moffat point in the third set by frantically sweeping up their area.
MCHS girls were coming off the wrong end of a sweep Thursday in their first outing for 3A Western Slope League credit, falling 25-14, 25-18 and 25-17 traveling to Coal Ridge.
“Coal Ridge was definitely the toughest serving team we’ve seen, so they had to stay on their toes, ready to pass,” said head coach Jessica Profumo.
Even with 17 kills against the Titans — six by Cayden King and five by Adams — the stats weren’t that much higher against Aspen, largely due to Skier errors in only their second match of the year. The first set was more about smart play, as Bulldogs allowed side outs and overdone serves by their opponents to boost their score.
The second set started with a 6-0 run for the Lady Dogs as Faith Morgan claimed aces from the line and King and Olivia Profumo slammed back anything the Skiers returned. And so it went from there until a tip over the net by Taytum Smercina gave MoCo their 25th point.
By the final round, Aspen athletes were more in tune with each other, starting the set at 3-1 before the Dogs overtook them. The closest the Skiers would come was trailing by one point at 16-15, but the energy was fully on the home team’s side at 19-17 as Bulldogs strung together their final six points.
Adams, King and Olivia Profumo each earned four aces in all, with 16 by the team. Olivia led with seven in the 23-kill match, four each for Adams and King.
“We’ve been working hard on serving tough, and it definitely paid off in this match. They just stayed aggressive all the way around,” coach Profumo said. “It’s hard sometimes when you’re not returning a lot of balls to still stay fast and on your toes, but that’s what I challenged them to do and they did a good job.”
MCHS varsity also had Hailee Herndon back for her first game since a first-week ankle injury, albeit in an altered capacity, largely in the back row.
“I told her I wasn’t going to play her the full game, but she played the whole third set. I wanted to work her in slowly to be safe. I’d rather have her for the long run,” Profumo said.
Varsity setter Jacie Evenson earned 14 assists, while Alexis Jones — who plays the position for JV — stepped on the varsity court as a hitter.
“It was pretty exciting, a little nerve-wracking, a lot faster,” Jones said. “It was weird not going after the second balls.”
Jones and her JV teammates had the closest set yet this season Saturday, following C-Team’s first win of the year — 25-12, 25-15 — with a 31-29 win against the Skiers.
“They were really fired up for that. Both teams were hyped for that one,” said JV coach Shay Steffan. “They have great moments of intensity.”
Ultimately, JV’s energy waned after the lengthy start, falling 25-13 and 15-10 from there.
“That keeps happening where the first one is really good, so we’ve just got to keep working at it,” Sadie Smilanich said.
With seven games in eight days — including a 2-2 run at the Rangely tourney and a Sept. 10 3-0 win in Basalt (25-12, 25-23, 27-25) — the varsity lineup is looking forward to slowing down with no competition until Sept. 21’s home event against Delta, which will be a military appreciation game.
Now 6-7 overall and 1-1 in WSL play after downing Aspen, the Bulldogs have already bettered their record from 2018’s 5-15 tally, and players are anticipating more triumphs.
“I just want to see some good playing time,” Jones said.