Moffat County volleyball comes up short against Coal Ridge
Craig — Despite many strong points on the court, Moffat County High School varsity volleyball still is fighting a case of the 3-0 blues.
Coal Ridge High School swept the Lady Bulldogs on Thursday night in 25-10, 25-12 and 25-17 sets, landing MCHS with a 4-11 overall record.
The Titans, now 12-6, remain at the top of the 3A Western Slope League with an unblemished 6-0 among conference opponents. Coach Starla Jensen wanted her girls to get underway without concern for Coal Ridge’s reputation, but that was easier said than done.
“I think they came out a little bit scared,” she said.
In the first two sets, Moffat County couldn’t answer the Titans’ scoring jag, making progress little by little as each game went on but not able to create any momentum.
“We weren’t pumped up to start the game, and we were kind of down,” junior Morgan Lawton said.
The mentality got worse when the third set began, as a slew of errors helped Coal Ridge get ahead, 7-0. One point did little to boost the girls’ confidence, with the Titans gaining another eight on the scoreboard by the time they made their mark again, down 15-2.
What looked like it would be the team’s biggest hurt of the night started to turn around as players got their heads in the game with the resolve to mount a comeback, seeing the holes in the Titans’ defense and using them to their advantage.
“We had a lot more coverage than we usually do, and we did have pretty good passes and good hits,” Lawton said. “If we had played like that the entire set, we would’ve won.”
Coal Ridge couldn’t be slowed entirely, and the point margin soon caught up to the Bulldogs.
“We started to see a team that looked familiar,” Jensen said about the regained vigor of the third set. “I think my expectations were a lot higher from our last game, and I think the girls’ expectations were higher, too.”
Throughout the evening, the Bulldogs racked up 21 digs, four blocks, eight kills and three aces.
Moffat County is 1-3 in WSL play and will host 3-3 Gunnison on Saturday afternoon. The Cowboys are on a hot streak, recently rising to the middle of the rankings by taking down the ABCs of the conference: Aspen, Basalt and Carbondale (Roaring Fork).
Jensen said the Bulldogs can come out with a weekend win by focusing on fundamentals such as passing, communication and just “keeping their heads up.”
“All those little things, those are the key,” she said.