Moffat County volleyball nets 2-2 weekend total in Rangely tourney | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County volleyball nets 2-2 weekend total in Rangely tourney

After a slow start to the season, Moffat County High School varsity volleyball found its footing amid four games during the weekend at the Rangely Fall Classic.

Lady Bulldogs were 2-2 following the Friday and Saturday tournament, playing 10 total sets across two days.

MCHS girls opened the tourney against the hosting Panthers, and though the first set ended with a 25-7 defeat, they tightened up their play to follow with a closer 25-16.

Moffat County's next opponent was Hayden, and the following fracas was the Bulldogs' scrappiest to date, as they pushed it to 26-24 against the Tigers but were still on the wrong side of the scoreboard.

Not willing to drop another, the Lady Dogs were on the attack from there, and they shut down Hayden's efforts to finish with their first set win of the season, 25-17.

The dominance continued into the tiebreaking third set as MCHS leapt to a 6-0 start with Bailey Lawton on serving duty. Terry Gillett and Morgan Nelson would also provide plentiful power from the line while Hailee Herndon and Jaidyn Steele were dual threats at the net.

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The 15-7 final was Moffat County's first game win of the fall.

"It really boosts our confidence," Lawton said. "We communicated a lot better in the Hayden game, and we played more as a whole. Everybody's improved on their own, and we're starting to improve as a team together."

The emboldened squad continued its strong play Saturday, taking a 2-0 win over Aurora's Lotus School for Excellence with back-to-back 25-10 victories, as well as fighting to the bitter end against fellow Yampa Valley team Soroco, falling in three sets that culminated in an 18-16 squeaker for the Rams.

The team's ability to push back was heartening, head coach Erin Knez said, and the group is in a better headspace now that they've had a taste of victory.

"The girls played harder intensity, stayed up, they talked, hit hard and played smart volleyball. That's what we've been striving for," Knez said.

Bulldog C-Team, JV and varsity volleyball next hosts Roaring Fork in games originally scheduled for Tuesday.  The matches will now begin at 4 p.m. Wednesday at MCHS, 900 Finley Lane.