Bulldogs volleyball season ends at district tournament
Montrose — Heading into the second round of the district tournament in Montrose on Saturday, the Moffat County High School volleyball team had won 14 consecutive matches.
The Bulldogs continued their winning ways in the first round, sweeping past Western Slope League foe Palisade.
Everything was clicking for the senior-laden team.
A birth to the state regional tournament was within sight for the No. 10 ranked Bulldogs.
Or so they thought.
Moffat County was up two games to none against state No. 6 Regis High School, needing one more win to clinch the top spot in Pool II of the District 8 tournament.
The win never came.
Moffat dropped the final three games to Regis and then were defeated in the next round by host Montrose in five games, as well, ending what had been a dream-like run for the Bulldogs.
The dream had turned into a nightmare.
“We shouldn’t have lost,” senior Sharina Simpson said. “We all thought we would go much further than we did.”
Moffat County had an easy time in the first match of the day, defeating Palisade High School, 25-14, 25-23, 25-21.
“It is only the first match of the tournament,” coach Brianna Montgomery said after that contest. “It is good fuel for us heading into our next one. That’s it.”
Moffat jumped out to an early 26-24, 25-18 lead against Regis and was coasting along, winning five straight games.
The Bulldog volleyball machine sputtered from there, losing the next three games to the Raiders, 21-25, 21-25, 10-15, before being knocked out by the the No. 5 team in the state, the Indians, 10-25, 25-19, 25-19, 21-25, 13-15.
“We were in the toughest district in the state,” Montgomery said. “Four teams deserve to go, but unfortunately, only two get to advance. We are not one of them.”
Outside of the Moffat locker room, you could hear music blaring in attempt to drown out the sound of tears falling from Bulldog players.
“We were trying to lighten the mood,” Simpson said. “Amy (Dilldine) and Markie (Workman) put it on and started to tell jokes to make us laugh.”
The players couldn’t disguise their disappointment in the day’s results despite the attempts of Workman and Dilldine.
“I’m very disappointed,” a red-eyed Angie Charchalis said. “We worked really hard, and I think that we could have beaten either one of those teams today.”
Senior Meghan Innes was upset at the day’s outcome but held her head high while walking out of Montrose High School.
“We had an awesome season,” she said. “It is a year that I will never forget.”
The Bulldogs were the surprise team of the volleyball season. They won 13 regular season matches to finish the year, and have several players nominated for All Western Slope League teams. Montgomery has been nominated for coach of the year.
“Nobody expected us to go this far,” Simpson said. “Winning was awesome this year, and we all enjoyed a great season. I just wish it wasn’t over yet.”
Senior MacKenzie Maneotis said she had a wonderful ride throughout the course of the year with her teammates.
“We are an amazing team full of amazing players,” she said. “I’m really proud to have been a part of it. We hung out together all year and that won’t ever change. I couldn’t have ended my time playing volleyball here at Moffat County with a better group of girls. We became like sisters.”
Despite a smaller field of competition and a practice schedule that’s been less than steady, Craig Sea Sharks’ season debut saw athletes at all levels dive right in for the summer.