Poise under pressure: Seniors lead Central volleyball team past ‘Cats
Having six seniors on its team has paid big dividends for the Central High School volleyball team this season.
That veteran leadership showed Tuesday as the Warriors outlasted Fruita Monument 25-27, 25-17, 26-24, 25-20 at Central.
“Poise has been our strength this year,” Central coach Beth Nelson said.
After Fruita Monument overcame two game points to win the first game, Central regrouped to take the second game, including a trio of kills by Amy Kame on the final three points.
After failing to put game one away at game point, the Warriors (16-1, 8-0 Southwestern League) turned the tables.
The Wildcats (8-10, 3-7) held a 24-23 lead in the third game but a net serve tied the game. Central got a block from Jamie Pomaski to help start a two-point run to end the game.
Fruita Monument’s defense was particularly strong all evening, but Central’s front row kept attacking, eventually wearing down the Wildcats.
“Our defense never gave up,” Fruita Monument coach Amelia Conner said. “I was really happy with our blocking.”
That effort was led by Katie Lewis with four blocks and Ashley Martin with three.
A combination of Wildcat hitting errors and attacks by Ashley Wells and Kame earned the Warriors the victory in the final game.
“We really did come out a little slow,” Central junior defensive specialist Mady Minzey said. “Their defense was really strong.”
Conner, whose team completed its regular season with the loss, looked at her team’s mistakes as the difference.
“It’s been hit or miss,” she said of the Wildcats being able to finish games and matches this season.
Fruita Monument had nine service errors.
“I think our serving errors come at bad times,” Conner said.
Nelson said her team may have been overlooking the Wildcats a bit in preparation for this weekend’s road trip to the Four Corners to end the regular season.
“I think that was in the back of their minds,” Nelson said.
They make the trip with an unbeaten league record and their fate in their own hands.
“We’re going down there right where we want to be,” Nelson said.
“I think we’re at a really good point right now,” she said.
Palisade 3, Delta 1: The Bulldogs (12-5, 9-3 Western Slope League) kept themselves in the top half of the league standings with the 21-25, 25-21, 25-18, 25-20 victory.
Audrey Steinkirchner had another strong game in the front row for Palisade with 16 kills; Morgan Reynolds added 13. Reynolds also had two blocks.
The Bulldogs close out their regular season with home matches against Steamboat Springs on Thursday and Moffat County on Friday. Thursday’s match will be Palisade’s Girls Night Out match during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Montrose 3, Grand Junction 0: The Tigers had a chance to tie the match in the second game but the Indians pulled away for a 25-18, 25-22, 25-17 victory.
Kricket Adleman and Jordan Doughty paced the Grand Junction offensive attack with nine and eight kills, respectively.
The loss closed out the regular season for Grand Junction (7-12, 1-9 SWL).
Grand Junction scored a first-half goal but Montrose tied the game with an Eliseo Gomez score in the second half as the teams played to a 1-1 tie.
It was the first tie for Grand Junction (10-3-1, 7-2-1 SWL) this season.
The Tigers close out the regular season Thursday against Prairie View in Henderson.
Palisade’s season came to an end with a 3-0 loss to Glenwood Springs at the Peach Bowl.
The Demons got a goal from Danny Weller in the first half, then got insurance goals from Kellen Casey and Hunter Brown in the second half.
Glenwood outshot Palisade 32-10.
Conner Carey had 16 saves in goal for the Bulldogs (2-12-1, 1-10-1 Western Slope League).