Moffat County volleyball hosting Steamboat after weekend warm-up |

Moffat County volleyball hosting Steamboat after weekend warm-up

Moffat County High School volleyball coaches Starla Jensen, far left, and Erin Knez serve up some action for players during a practice session in the MCHS gym. The volleyball teams played at Rangely and Grand Valley tournaments over the weekend and will host Steamboat Springs Thursday for their first set of regular season games.

Moffat County High School volleyball is ready to bump it up to the next level this week.

The Lady Bulldogs had their first look at the season's competition this past weekend, as varsity headed to a tournament in Rangely and junior varsity and C-Team attended their own event at Grand Valley High School in Parachute.

Varsity finished 1-3 overall, with a 2-1 loss to Meeker and a 2-0 defeat by the hosting Panthers Friday. Despite a 2-0 loss to West Grand, things improved Saturday, as Moffat County swept their fellow users of the Bulldog title, Hotchkiss, 2-0.

Head coach Starla Jensen said she got a good glimpse of players' capabilities, noting service was especially promising, with some girls flawless at the line in certain games.

The multiple matches of the tournament format — which are neutral when it comes to the final record — can get athletes in gear, but the early season workout is more an indicator of what can be improved on rather than a serious contest.

"Overall, I'm very pleased with what I saw," Jensen said.

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The program had a limited roster in its weekend, which made the younger players' work even more noteworthy, said coach Erin Knez, who also had some assistance in overseeing things thanks to Craig Middle School coach Vicki Blomquist.

C-Team won, 2-0, over Grand Valley before one loss to Aspen and two to Roaring Fork, while a five-person JV squad had a 2-2 series, with wins against the GV Cardinals and West Grand, falling to both Aspen and Coal Ridge.

The latter teams are ones JV will see on multiple occasions this year.

"Both of those teams we can compete with, with a full six players, there's no doubt in my mind," Knez said. "Give us a full week of practice, and we can do very well with them."

While varsity visits Delta for another tourney Friday and Saturday, all three MCHS teams have their first regular season game Thursday hosting Steamboat Springs, the first of two meetings with the Sailors this month.

"We want to find what we can build on, and I think we've got a good base right now, we just need to make it bigger and stronger," Jensen said.

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

If you go

Moffat County High School volleyball vs. Steamboat Springs

4:30 p.m. Thursday

MCHS gym, 900 Finley Lane

— The lineup starts with C-Team, followed by JV at 5:30 p.m., ending with varsity at 6:30 p.m.