Bulldogs sweep Rangely | CraigDailyPress.com

Bulldogs sweep Rangely

Volleyball team cruises to season-opening victory

John Vandelinder

— The Moffat County High School volleyball team started off its 2008 campaign on the right foot.

And the left foot.

The Bulldogs leapt their way past visiting Rangely on Thursday, sweeping away the Panthers, 25-18, 25-21, 26-24.

“We are always happy to get a win,” MCHS coach Brianna Montgomery said. “We still have some things to work on, but it’s easy to get excited when your team does something right.

“It doesn’t get any more right than to win.”

The 4A Bulldogs (1-0 overall, 0-0 Western Slope League) simply overpowered the smaller 2A Panthers (0-1 overall, 0-0 District 5 conference).

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Moffat County jumped out to a 15-4 run behind the timely hitting of seniors Megan Trujillo and Ariel Sanchez.

Rangely reeled off five consecutive points to pull within five at 15-10, but a crushing kill by Trujillo stopped the Panthers’ hopes of a comeback.

“I’m really pleased with the way the girls were swinging the ball,” Montgomery said. “We started to mesh.”

From the onset of Game 2, Rangely seemed as though they would give the Bulldogs a tougher contest.

The Panthers took their first lead of the match, 5-4, in that second frame, and held a one-point advantage until the Bulldogs tied the contest at 12.

A huge block and subsequent kill by junior Lindsey Yoast put the Bulldogs up 14-12, and Moffat County didn’t look back.

Game 3 saw the Bulldogs jump out to an early 4-0 lead, forcing the Panthers to call a time out.

“I just told the girls to shake it off,” Rangely coach Jimmie Mergelman said. “They were outplaying us. We weren’t playing at the level I know we are capable of.”

The tactic worked.

The Panthers went on an 8-0 run, taking control of the game. The lead was stretched to seven when the Panthers led 20-13, but the Bulldogs fought back.

Junior Natasha Romney reeled off seven consecutive service points, tying the game at 20.

With Rangely leading 24-20, needing a single point to force the match to a fourth game, Montgomery was forced to call a time out.

“I just wanted them to know what was happening,” Montgomery said. “They responded.”

An ace by Sanchez tied the game at 24, and after she laid out for a dig, sophomore Loren Roberts came up with a pivotal block and tip-put-back to end the match.

“We really wanted to get this win and start the season off well,” Romney said. “We weren’t worried (about losing the third game). We just stayed positive, and it turned out well.”

Notes: Moffat County hosts Grand Junction Central on Thursday. The team participated in its annual “lock-in” at the high school Thursday night, where members of the team are locked in the school for a team-bonding sleepover. Moffat County has won each of its season-openers under Montgomery.