A five-set thriller
Central spikes GJ in tight match
Central won a closely contested fifth game to turn back Grand Junction 25-23, 20-25, 25-15, 18-25, 15-13 in a Southwestern League volleyball match Thursday night.
Taylor Head led the Warriors (4-4, 1-1 SWL) with 18 kills, Sara Stahly had eight kills and five blocks, and Madi Marston led Central with six blocks. Rayleigh Norton added 47 assists and three aces for the Warriors, and Hannah Price topped the team with 19 digs.
Warriors coach Jennifer Armendariz said it was a team win in which “everybody had their moments.”
She added, “They really showed up today. They really played the Central volleyball I knew they had in them all along. They played as a team, and even in the tough moments they stayed together. ... They needed this win to prove to themselves what they’re capable of.”
■ Palisade fought back from a 9-4 deficit in the fifth game to edge Delta 21-25, 25-18, 25-18, 16-25, 16-14 in a 4A Western Slope League match. The Bulldogs rattled off seven straight points to take command of the final game.
Alyssa Chutka had eight kills and three blocks for the Bulldogs, and Lexi Hall and Ashlyn Brown had seven kills and six kills, respectively. Moriah Rutterbush-Rayment paced Palisade with 17 assists and five aces, and Amber Crigger had a team-high 17 digs.
Fruita Monument got two goals from Wesley Padgett as the Wildcats defeated Montrose 3-0 in an SWL game at Montrose.
Sophomore goalkeeper Dominic Gaty made four saves to earn his first shutout, which Wildcats coach Dan McKee deemed impressive because, “Montrose is a tough place to go in and win, much less get a shutout.”
McKee called it one of the team’s biggest wins in recent years because wins over the Indians have been rare, and it comes on the heels of a win over a state-ranked Class 5A team, Fossil Ridge, last weekend.
“It means a ton to us,” McKee said of the win over Montrose. “It’s something we hadn’t done in years.
“They’re playing so well right now. They’re so much fun to watch.”
Noah Nelson scored Fruita’s final goal with about 10 minutes remaining, and McKee said of his midfielder, “He was dominating. He had 12 steals.”
Central scored four runs in the sixth inning to rally to a 4-2 victory over Fruita Monument and remain unbeaten in the Southwestern League.
The Warriors’ outburst came after Fruita scored two unearned runs in the bottom of the fifth.
Tyler Hays led off the sixth with a single for Central (10-4, 6-0 SWL), and one out later Megan Cosslett drew a walk. Tiana Wirth then doubled in a run, and Baylea Hice added a two-run single for a 3-2 lead. Hice scored the final run on an error.
“It was a good win,” Warriors coach Scott Else said. “We got down late but never gave up.”
Palisade 7, Cedaredge 3: The Bulldogs (2-8) dealt the Bruins (6-1) their first loss, taking the lead for good, 4-3, with two runs in the bottom of the third.
Winning pitcher Danica DeLaHoz scattered six hits, didn’t walk a batter and kept the Bruins off the board in all but the third inning, when Cedaredge scored three times to take a 3-2 lead.
Isabel Davis and Josie Brumfield collected two hits apiece for Palisade, and each drove in a run.
Grand Junction’s No. 3 doubles team of Yuta Yuasa and Ty Gardner won a 10-point-tiebreaker third set to give the Tigers a 7-0 win over Fruita Monument in a SWL match. The Tigers won the rest of the matches in straight sets.