Moffat County volleyball falls, 3-0, to Grand Valley
Bulldogs to face Olathe in weekend match
Craig — Starla Jensen was at a loss for words Thursday night.
When all was said and done in the Moffat County High School gym, the coach of the varsity volleyball team was unsure what to make of her group’s latest game, but what she does know is her girls have got it in them to claim more wins than they’ve been getting.
After a sweep of Aspen during last week’s Homecoming, the Lady Bulldogs were on the wrong side of the 3-0 results this time with visiting Grand Valley beating them, 25-12, 25-17 and 25-13.
The match started out positively enough for MCHS, jumping ahead to a three-point lead against the Cardinals, who battled back in kind, giving Moffat County a workout until a timeout with the Parachute squad was up, 7-4.
The next time players took a breather, Grand Valley had doubled their points to 14-5, and from there, the Cardinals got to 20 before the Bulldogs even recorded another point of their own.
The girls in blue and white fought hard to get to double digits in the first set, but Grand Valley’s lead was too great.
The second set went from a score of 2-2 to 8-2 in the Cardinals’ favor in a matter of minutes, but MCHS wasn’t content to be left in the dust as easily this time, with finishes by Britney Rothermund and Lauren Samuelson adding to the effort. Still, the Bulldogs could not catch up to Grand Valley.
A move in the final set to make their mark did not materialize for Moffat County, though it looked like the team could manage a comeback midway through, thanks to the wall provided by Mattie Jo Duzik at the vanguard.
But Grand Valley continued to advance more and more incrementally in points compared to the Bulldogs’ struggle, and eventually, that was that.
Jensen said the level of fight she’s seen in her players has been stronger on the road this season.
“I’ve seen them play so well, just step on the court and play, and I don’t know what it is about being at home,” Jensen said.
Junior Charli Earle is equally puzzled by how home games have been more challenging.
“I think we just need to find our groove again,” she said.
Jensen added that her girls were able to complete some great sequences with digs, spikes, blocks and more, but somehow, they couldn’t gain the momentum to translate these into a win.
Although she admitted that the Cardinals, 6-7 overall and 3-0 in the 3A Western Slope League, were skilled, Jensen said that was no excuse.
“They weren’t as tough as we let them be,” she said. “We’re going to really need to focus in practice for Saturday.”
Now 4-9 and 1-1 — MCHS will play Grand Valley again in a WSL game later in the month — the Bulldogs will move on to host 12-2 Olathe during the weekend, a team they first saw during tournament play earlier this season.
“If they come out the way I know they can play, it should be a fun game to watch,” Jensen said.
For Earle, she sees tweaking the team’s passing and court coverage as the key.
“Once we get it all put together, I think we can be really good,” she said.