‘Go big, or go home’ | CraigDailyPress.com

‘Go big, or go home’

Bulldog volleyball team looking to win districts

John Vandelinder

— The atmosphere inside the Moffat County gymnasium during Thursday’s volleyball practice wasn’t what you would expect from a senior-laden team, which could possibly be playing for its final time.

Laughter echoed off the hardwood floor, as the Bulldogs were playful and relaxed despite the ensuing district championships in Montrose creeping over the horizon.

“We are feeling good and very confident right now,” Kari Griffin said. “This is the only sport I play, so it really means a lot to me. I want to sweep every body. I want to win it out.”

The Bulldogs have been ‘winning it out’ since Sept. 15. That particular Saturday was the last time Moffat County lost a volleyball match. Since then, 13 straight victories followed, leading to a 16-3 record as well as a No. 10 ranking in the state.

“I can’t wait to get to Montrose,” coach Brianna Montgomery said. “We have come a long way this past season.”

Practice has been difficult this week, Montgomery said.

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“I want the girls to benefit from the long hours they have put into the hardwood,” she said. “They have handled a lot this year together as a team. They deserve every bit of success that comes their way.”

Meghan Innes expects perfection from her teammates.

“We are aiming to go without a single loss,” she said. “We deserve the district title.”

Senior MacKenzie Maneotis, who has missed time because of injury, is pumped for the opportunity to advance to the state championship.

“I didn’t get to play as much as the other girls,” she said. “I don’t want it to be over yet. We’ve worked hard all year to get where we are.”

Montgomery points to the Sept. 15 weekend as the team’s turning point.

“The reality set in at that point that they are seniors,” she said. “If they are going to do it, they realized that was the time to turn it on.”

Montgomery said when the girls fell into their roles on the team and started to work together is when she could tell this team was different.

“This is the last shot for these seniors,” she said. “This is their chance to shine.”

Senior Amy Dilldine is ready for the competition – or lack of it, in her mind – provided at the districts.

“We are going to take it to them,” she said. “My heart is in this game. It means everything to me. Those other teams better watch out. They don’t know what’s coming.”

If you go

What: MCHS volleyball at district tournament

When: 8 a.m. Saturday; 9:30 a.m. MCHS vs. Palisade; 11:30 a.m. MCHS vs. Regis. Two more matches to follow if MCHS wins

Where: Montrose High School, Montrose

• For more information, call 970-824-7036