Gunnison Cowboys outgun Moffat County volleyball
Thursday’s Steamboat Springs game is Senior Night
Craig — Saturday was a heartbreaker for the Moffat County High School varsity volleyball team, playing better than ever on their home court this season, only to still not find a win.
The Lady Bulldogs lost, 3-0, hosting the Lady Cowboys, of Gunnison, during the weekend in some of their closest matches to date: a pair of 25-23 sets followed by a 25-21 set.
Clad in their pink shirts provided by The Memorial Hospital as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Moffat County clearly had a hunger to win from the beginning, gaining an early lead and giving Gunnison little to work with in a game that was evenly matched, the score tied up at eight separate times, the last of which was at 23.
History repeated itself as the Bulldogs went into the second set, playing even more fiercely and keeping it tied up with the Cowboys at 13 junctures, once again reaching 23-all and having Gunnison sneak away with the final two points.
“Our level of intensity got down, our focus wasn’t on and we got tired,” Moffat County’s Britney Rothermund said.
As has happened regularly for the team, going into the final game down 2-0, the choice was to surrender or tap into their reserves for that last-minute boost. At first, it didn’t look at all likely once Gunnison reached its greatest lead of the day at 17-8.
Even so, little by little, the MCHS girls hit back as the Cowboys reached match point, leading 24-18, but spike after spike from seniors Rothermund and Alex Samuelson brought it to 24-21.
All it took was one bad serve, and once the ball hit the net, that was the end of the day to give Moffat County a 4-12 record, 1-4 in the 3A Western Slope League.
The effort from the line gave up too many points, coach Starla Jensen said, and the struggle was finding that happy medium between too much power and not enough — though with 12 aces overall, there were plenty of highlights, especially compared to the defeat Gunnison handed to MCHS in tournament play earlier this season.
Three blocks, 16 kills and 47 digs also made up the day’s statistics, some of the best so far, the coach added.
“There are just some huge improvements over last week against Olathe,” Jensen said.
Jensen said she shook up the rotation a little bit, and while it didn’t have the effect she might have liked, the way the girls have responded with on-court chemistry has been encouraging.
“Anytime you have changes that are positive, you want to continue to work with them, so that’s what we’re going to do,” she said.
Thursday marks the final home game for MCHS, as the Bulldogs host Steamboat Springs. Between the regional rivalry, the chance for payback for the Sailors’ defeat of the team earlier this season and a send-off for seniors, it should make for the perfect motivation for players get the win.
“We kept up with them last time, and I’m pretty sure we can beat them now,” Rothermund said.
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The dinosaur bones Liz Johnson and her team have found in western Moffat County are millions, maybe tens of millions of years old.