Moffat County volleyball hits home floor for Homecoming game vs. Basalt
At the tail end of Moffat County High School’s Homecoming, a bit of fatigue was bound to come with the many activities of the week, a state that plagued the MCHS varsity volleyball team Saturday.
MCHS fell in four sets to Basalt as part of Bulldog Homecoming.
The day started well for the Lady Dogs as C-Team held on through three sets against the Longhorns, winning the first 25-23, losing the second 25-22 and getting the tiebreaker at 15-10.
Junior varsity trounced the visitors 25-11 for a warmup, followed by a closer Bulldog win at 25-21 for the sweep.
When time came for the varsity matchup, the Homecoming crowd had grown ready for a total day of Moffat County domination.
Though they would fall short of that, MoCo girls were battling hard throughout the day, coming back from a shaky, narrow 25-23 loss in the opening set to decidedly control the pace of the second with a seven-point run that helped Bulldogs take the 25-14 win.
It looked like the Lady Dogs were primed to capture the third as well — a 5-4 deficit suddenly turned into a 12-5 advantage with a combination of lockdown defense by the Bulldogs and a frazzled Basalt roster.
The Longhorns got on their own run to tie it at 12, with the two staying even on nearly every point until the 20-20 split segued to five unanswered points by Basalt to get the win at 25-20.
The fourth and final set wasn’t as neck and neck, but after the two sides got to 18-all, the Longhorns were able to stay in front and slowly work their way to a 25-22 finish.
Despite her players sweeping Basalt on the road in September, coach Jessica Profumo could tell the Longhorns were a changed team, partly because of the word that spread that they were the first group to take Western Slope powerhouse Cedaredge beyond three sets.
“I definitely knew they would be tougher,” Profumo said. “It’s always hard to tell with them because I think they also lost to Aspen, so I didn’t know what to expect.”
Though play was aggressive, it was tinged with anxiety that led to too many errors and miscommunications, she added.
“As a coach, it’s my job to make sure the things we’re trying to do on offense happen,” she said. “We’ve talked about the things that are breaking down, so it’s frustrating for me when they know what they need to do and it’s just not coming together. They had good plays, but you’ve gotta put consistent pressure on the other team.”
Profumo also said the Homecoming energy that was a benefit at the start of the week was largely tapped out by Saturday.
Statistics were a mixed bag for Bulldogs, particularly from the line, with five aces offset by twice as many faulty serves.
With Jacie Evenson gaining 27 assists, MoCo girls racked up plenty of kills in the heavy-hitting match, with nearly everyone on the floor earning at least one K in a team total of 37 for the four sets.
Hailee Herndon led with nine, followed by Abbe Adams with eight, and five each for Taytum Smercina and Cayden King.
Eliana Mack claimed six kills plus two big blocks in a game she noted was a special one for seniors.
“All the seniors had a little talk before the game. We were just so happy that we have each other and we wanted to make the most out of our last Homecoming game, and I think we did,” she said. “Even though we lost, we still played really hard.”
Though she was tuned in mentally during crucial moments, Mack said it was hard not to be too excited after successful plays.
“I was just thinking, ‘Yay, I just did that!'” she said.
At 7-12 overall and 2-5 in the 3A Western Slope League, MoCo volleyball will travel for a non-conference event Thursday at Central High School in Grand Junction before Oct. 26’s doubleheader at home, which will be a Breast Cancer Awareness pink game with Roaring Fork followed by Senior Night against Grand Valley.