Moffat County volleyball comes from behind in Basalt | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County volleyball comes from behind in Basalt

Bulldogs split vs. Longhorns, fall to Rifle; coach wants more intensity in Olathe game

From left, Moffat County High School varsity volleyball players Emma Samuelson, Josie Timmer and Morgan Nelson stay alert on the court. MCHS lost the first part of a doubleheader in Basalt in three sets but won, 3-2, in the second part. They also lost, 3-1, Tuesday in Rifle and will travel this weekend to Olathe.

Moffat County High SchoolMoffat County High School volleyball plays a game that’s back and forth by its very nature, but that was no more apparent than in its most recent games. volleyball plays a game that's back and forth by its very nature, but that was no more apparent than in its most recent games.

Moffat County High School volleyball plays a game that's back and forth by its very nature, but that was no more apparent than in its most recent games.

The Lady Bulldogs are 4-9 overall following the past Saturday's doubleheader split in Basalt and a Tuesday evening loss to Rifle.

The Longhorns went 1-22 in 2015 and fell to every 3A Western Slope League team, which head coach Erin Knez believes may have set up an expectation among MCHS players that the first of two varsity games would be a breeze.

The Lady Dogs had no answers when Basalt swept them in the opening game, 25-12, 25-22 and 25-19.

"It was a totally different team, it was impressive, and we weren't ready," Knez said of Basalt's pickup in play. "We gave them permission to beat us basically."

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The Longhorn confidence continued, which garnered them the first two sets of the latter half of the day, 25-17 and 25-11, and that's when Knez got blunt with her athletes.

"I told them, 'we have nothing to prove, and they have everything to prove to beat us again, we have nothing to lose,'" she said.

From there, Moffat County girls chipped away, winning the next pair of sets 25-23 and 25-19 before claiming their first five-round victory at 15-12.

"Going into that last one 2-2, it adds some intensity," Knez chuckled. "That win was great for team morale. We fought through our own personal demons and pushed past mental mistakes to stay a team, and that's why we came out on top."

On Tuesday, the Lady Dogs took a break from the 3A WSL and met with 4A Rifle, starting strong against the Bears to win the first set, 25-21.

"I haven't seen the girls come out like that this season, so that first set was exciting," Knez said.

Unfortunately, the rest of the 3-1 night slipped away from them, as Rifle claimed the next three, 25-20, 25-23 and 25-18.

Sophomore Morgan Nelson said the common denominator in so many of the games this season has been positivity among the team.

"We still have to learn mental toughness," she said. "We've got to work on staying positive the whole time, communicating and setting goals for that game and just getting in there and going. I think we're so worried about doing something right we just don't get in there and play the game."

This weekend, MCHS volleyball travels to Olathe, currently the last-place school in the conference.

However, Knez refuses to let players take anything for granted based on any team's record.

"We should definitely be able to take Olathe, no doubt, but we're going to be pushing the whole time, working on intensity level and keeping our pace," she said. "Our biggest enemy will be underestimating them and not going in and playing hard."

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