Moffat County volleyball battles to 3-0 loss to Olathe | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County volleyball battles to 3-0 loss to Olathe

Coach: Players returning to higher quality

Moffat County High School junior Morgan Lawton (No. 11) goes up on the defensive against Olathe on Saturday in the MCHS gym. The Bulldogs varsity volleyball team lost, 3-0, against the Pirates, 25-21, 25-18 and 25-13.

— What a difference a day makes.

The final results were the same as earlier in the week for the Moffat County High School varsity volleyball team Saturday, but game by game, there was a much stronger effort.

The Bulldogs took on the Olathe Pirates, who plundered their way to a 3-0 win against MCHS.

However, the second sweep of Moffat County in three days wasn't what coach Starla Jensen wanted to focus on afterward; it was the greater level of play in her girls that had been missing in previous home meets.

"It was nice to see the team that I saw a few weeks ago out there," she said. "There were a lot of positives."

The team came out strongest in the first set, keeping the score neck and neck throughout the action. What looked like the start of a Bulldog rally as the Pirates were at game point at 24-18 only lasted so long, ending the set 25-21.

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MCHS got on a six-point run to start the second set, but Olathe was able to catch up and overtake the Bulldogs, finishing 25-18. A closer contested final set saw the teams tied up at 11, but Moffat County was overwhelmed by the Pirate offense, scoring only twice more as its opposition sped to a 25-13 victory.

"Toward the end, we just kind of lost it," senior Tiawna Smercina said. "We just got stuck, and there was no way of getting out of it."

Team totals included 11 kills, three of which were by Alex Samuelson; 35 digs, 10 by Lauren Samuelson; five blocks, two by Mattie Jo Duzik.

Alex Samuelson also led the team in aces, with five.

"Our serving was so much better than the last game," Jensen said. "We went 80 percent this time, and last time it was 60."

The loss puts MCHS at 4-10 overall and 1-2 in the 3A Western Slope League. Coming up against the Pirates, who boast the best total results in the WSL at 14-2 and 4-1 in conference play, Jensen said her team was not at all intimidated.

"They came in here focused, and I don't care who we're playing, we have to play the best set we can play," she said.

Jensen cited the varsity game and respectable losses by the freshmen (25-17, 25-20) and junior varsity (25-14, 25-23) as indicators that the teams are improving.

"There were times we played our best and other times we let up, but overall, I'm walking out of the gym pleased," she said.

MCHS hosts Coal Ridge on Thursday and Gunnison on Saturday.

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.