Moffat County volleyball’s energy exhausted by Cedaredge

Moffat County High School's Bailey Lawton (2) and Jaidyn Steele (11) go up for the block against Cedaredge's MaKayla Kehmeier. MCHS volleyball fell 3-0 to the Bruins Friday.
Andy Bockelman

A mirror match of white and blue Friday saw Moffat County High School varsity volleyball on the same level as their opponents for much of the evening, but the neck-and-neck nature couldn’t last.

Lady Bulldogs fell in three sets to Cedaredge during a contest that Moffat County coach Erin Knez couldn’t help but liken to a roller coaster.

“The highs and lows and the momentum switches so fast, and tonight we didn’t keep up with it fast enough,” she said.

The first set saw MCHS girls come out on fire against the Bruins, a back and forth scoring sequence getting things tied up at 10 apiece before Cedaredge started to gain the upper hand, going on an 11-4 run before Knez called a timeout. The Bruins were on a roll, however, and went on to capture the win at 25-15.

As the second set began, Bulldogs were ready to shake off the defeat, with a big block early on by Morgan Nelson looking like things were on the mend. Some overly aggressive net play on both sides had its drawbacks, yet not enough to keep the mojo on the Moffat County side of the court as Cedaredge made their way to a 25-16 victory.

The familiar pattern of starting strong came about again in the final set, but with the total tied at 6, Moffat County was forced to take one of its powerhouses off the court when Nelson rolled her ankle.

The score evened up again at 8, but the Bruins tightened up from there for 12 unanswered points that loomed overhead no matter how badly Bulldog athletes wanted to push past it.

“Unfortunately that scoreboard is always up there, and they keep seeing it changing and it just sinks in on them,” Knez said.

Cedaredge won the last round 25-12 to improve to 4-2, while the Bulldogs’ loss put them at 2-6, the game not counting for 3A Western Slope League credit, which will take place when the two teams rematch Oct. 21 on the Bruins’ floor.

Knez noted that plenty of positives were present, including solid court coverage, highlighted by more than a few last-second saves by Tiffany Hildebrandt.

“Our hustle is there no doubt, and once we get past the roller coaster part, we’ll have a lot more success,” she said.

The previous weekend was a 2-2 tournament in Rangely, and that winning energy was what Knez and her players wanted to bring back home.

“Our talking and our energy and just our attitudes overall,” libero Terry Gillett said of the traits that they need to keep.

Games against Roaring Fork were also supposed to take place in Craig over the past week, though travel conflicts for the Rams led to multiple postponements, with the Carbondale team unable to attend Monday. As of Tuesday afternoon, the game’s status is still undetermined, though Roaring Fork may be forced to concede a forfeit.

If no game with Roaring Fork takes place later this week, MCHS will next host Coal Ridge Sept. 16.

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