Central holds on to defeat GJ in five sets
The Central High School volleyball team never trailed during the first two sets of their homecoming match Tuesday night against Grand Junction but had to wait until the fifth set to celebrate the victory.
Central held on to defeat the Tigers 25-17, 25-16, 19-25, 19-25, 15-13.
Central’s front row overpowered Grand Junction early, tallying 12 kills during the first set, punctuated by a cross-court kill by sophomore Taylor Head to win the first set 25-17.
Central (4-5, 2-0 SWL) carried its dominance in the second set, jumping to an 8-1 lead and cruising to a 25-16 victory.
“Our teamwork and faith in each other helped us a lot,” Central senior Demi Ruder said. “We hustled and could always rely on each other.”
Grand Junction (4-5, 0-2 SWL) rebounded in the third set, benefiting from the momentum of one of five aces from senior Katie Walker.
“We started really playing, and playing our game in the third set,” Grand Junction coach Leslie Vines said. “We came together and really changed the game.”
The Tigers, who had been struggling with momentum after a close loss to Fruita last week, were focused on maintaining their composure.
“Our intensity has been like a roller coaster this season,” senior Sabrina Trujillo said. “Coach wanted us to find a happy medium where we can play our best, and we found that in the third set.”
Grand Junction continued its comeback in the fourth set, taking advantage of eight Warrior errors.
The Tigers continued their hot streak into the beginning of the fifth set, jumping to an 6-1 lead with the help of aces from Walker and senior Alicia Copp, but they couldn’t finish their comeback. Central tallied seven unanswered points, and sealed the five-set victory after Junction sailed two balls past the end line.
“We stayed together enough as a team to hold on,” Central coach Beth Nelson said. “We got a lot of great play, especially from Kimber (Baker) at the swing, and did enough to pull it out.”
Baker and junior Robbi Termentozzi led the Warrior attack, each notching 11 kills. Termentozzi also led the team with six blocks and Head stuffed five. Senior Rayleigh Norton led the team with 30 assists and also contributed 14 digs.
Grand Junction was led by a balanced front row with Walker and junior Justine Roof each recording 11 kills. Junior Madi Gastineau added nine kills and also had 18 digs. Sophomore Lacee Kilgore had 24 assists and Copp added 20.
Central travels to Fruita to face the 10-1 Wildcats at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Grand Junction continues its five-game homestand Friday, playing Montezuma-Cortez at 7 p.m.