Warriors’ focus leads to victory

There were a lot of things that could have distracted the Central High School volleyball team Tuesday.

It’s homecoming week. Having defeated Grand Junction 3-1 in the teams’ earlier Southwestern League matchup three weeks ago, the Warriors might have been excused for having a letdown.

In addition, Tuesday was the night the volleyball team designated as its Breast Cancer Awareness match.

The Warriors changed from wearing their usual red and white uniforms to pink T-shirts for the match.

None of that seemed to have an effect as Central rolled to a 25-10, 25-16, 25-17 victory.

“They do a good job of keeping composure,” Central coach Beth Nelson said of her veteran team. “They know what the long-term (playoff) goal is. They do a good job of keeping focused.”

Central (15-1, 7-0 SWL) pulled away midway through the first two games, then took a quick 9-0 lead in the third game and rode the momentum.

The Warriors’ two big hitters, Ashley Wells and Amy Kame, again had solid games on the front row, and others also made big contributions to the victory.

“As we play these teams a second time, we know they are going to key on Ashley and Amy,” Nelson said. “(Setter) Haleigh (Higgins) does a good job of spreading it around.”

Kame and Wells had 11 and 10 kills, respectively, to lead the Warriors, but Maddi Vana, Jamie Pomaski, Kristina Lindsey and Kate Schaneman also got into the act.

“We always know they’re going to focus on Ashley and Amy,” said Schaneman, who played particularly strong in the third game with two stuffs at the net. “We know to be ready for the set.”

Schaneman, one of six seniors on the team, said familiarity is a bonus for this squad.

“We’ve all played together for so long, so that helps a lot,” she said.

Schaneman, who said the Warriors are gaining confidence with each match, wanted this memory of playing Grand Junction to be a good one.

“I remembered this is the last time I’m playing this team,” she said.

It was the sixth consecutive league loss for Grand Junction (7-9, 1-6) since opening its SWL season with a victory at Fruita Monument.

Central plays its home regular-season finale next Tuesday against Fruita Monument. Grand Junction is home this weekend against Montezuma-Cortez and Durango.


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