Pink perseverance: Moffat County volleyball keeps swinging for breast cancer awareness
The last few games of the season have been rough for Moffat County High School volleyball, but athletes have kept in mind that there are others whose journey has had more troubles.
MCHS hosted its final home games Saturday against Gunnison, which was also the program’s pink day. Players donned pink socks provided by Memorial Regional Health as part of October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
A mixed day on the court saw a win for C-Team but losses for JV and varsity, though it was a the ceremony leading up to the varsity game that meant the most for many players, as well as their families, which celebrated survivors or memorialized those lost to cancer.
C-Team player Tayla Siminoe honored her aunt, Rose Siminoe, currently battling breast cancer, as well as family friend Marla Nicholson Lynch, the latter of whom passed away from the disease in 2008 and was remembered as part of one of MCHS volleyball’s strongest teams, including a third-place state finish.
“It’s definitely heartbreaking to hear about people who are fighting through that or have died from it, but it’s also inspiring to know that they can push through it,” she said. “Anything that comes to us, we can also push through it.”
The pink socks were moving swiftly on court coverage for the varsity event, which ultimately went to the Lady Cowboys 3-1.
After a rough first set against Gunnison, losing 25-19, Lady Bulldogs found their footing in the second, trailing 12-10 before adding a streak of seven unanswered points that helped carry them to a 25-22 win.
Three straight aces by Hailee Herndon were part of seven she’d have throughout the day.
But, if the second set was one of their closest, the third was anything but for Moffat County, who were on the attack late with kills by Jaidyn Steele, Tiffany Hildebrandt and Jana Camilletti only to take a 25-9 defeat.
The final round of the season on the home floor was not quite as skewed, yet Gunnison still took the win at 25-18.
“We definitely played them better today than last year when we went to Gunnison,” said coach Erin Knez. “Some great moments, but we just couldn’t keep momentum on our side. Whatever they were throwing at us, we were going fast and hard, but if it slowed down, we’d just wind up trying to keep up with them. That was our downfall.”
In the course of one week, MCHS volleyball played five games, including last week’s loss in Grand Junction and a win at home over Roaring Fork.
Friday was a devastating 3-0 loss in Delta — 25-10, 25-9 and 25-5 — while a road rematch with Steamboat Springs Monday was no better at 25-9, 25-8 and 25-12.
Lady Dogs play their final game of the year this Saturday, traveling to Cedaredge.
A 4-18 record — that could either move to 4-19 or 5-18 — is one that players are already considering how they can improve next fall.
Steele, who led the team in blocks Saturday with five, said she hopes to turn things around next year as a senior.
“We grew so much this year, and I feel like we’ve come together a lot better than we did at the beginning of the season,” she said.