Moffat County volleyball stands strong vs. Coal Ridge |

Moffat County volleyball stands strong vs. Coal Ridge

Moffat County High School's Jaidyn Steele, second from right, and Jana Camilletti, right watch as Hailee Herndon bumps the ball back over the net during Saturday's game against Coal Ridge. MCHS lost in three sets, despite a last-second rally.
Andy Bockelman/staff

CRAIG — Amid tumultuous changes, Moffat County High School varsity volleyball players continue to make improvements, even when clashing with Titans.

MCHS fell in three sets Saturday to Coal Ridge, as the New Castle team found the holes in the Bulldog defense to take the win, though the Moffat County squad didn’t make it easy.

After losses of 25-13 and 25-16, the situation looked dire as the Lady Dogs trailed 20-10 in the final set. Though the visitors ultimately outlasted their hosts, a late rally — resulting in a 10-4 run — showed the spark Moffat County girls never seem to lose.

Making the game plan harder was the loss of starter Morgan Nelson to an ankle injury that will essentially end the season for her. Coach Erin Knez said she moved Hailee Herndon to strictly varsity, and she, along with Jaidyn Steele, Jana Camilletti and Bailey Lawton, showed their worth at the net with some crucial tips and kills.

“Hailee had an amazing game, super good on her blocks,” Knez said. “One thing where Coal Ridge outplayed is they read our spots quicker, hit a couple hard then hit it softer when we were back on our heels. A lot of teams don’t do that.”

Knez also had Stephenie Swindler suit up for varsity after a strong defensive showing on JV.

“I have a feeling she’ll probably see more playing time, because her digs during the JV game were phenomenal,” Knez said.

The loss to the 4-0 Coal Ridge squads puts the Bulldogs at 2-7, though, as the 3A Western Slope League play opens up, the team’s adjustments to the rotation changes are yet an indicator of their abilities to adapt.

Camilletti said the last-second boost may have failed to garner a fourth set, though teammates kept each other in high spirits.

“We definitely picked up, and I think we did good, but our goal is to never give up, even when it’s on the last point,” she said.

MCHS travels Tuesday to Carbondale to play WSL opponent Roaring Fork.

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