Briefs: Local Sports September 05, 2008

Higgins, Kame lead Central to VB victory

Grand Junction tennis player Owen Gartner.

Prep Volleyball

• Haleigh Higgins, Amy Kame and the Central High School volleyball team are riding the wave of momentum.

Coming off a 4-0 record in the Glenwood Springs Invitational last weekend, the Warriors continued to play well with a three-game sweep of Eagle Valley on Thursday night at Central High School. Central defeated the Devils 25-15, 25-15, 25-14 in a nonleague match.

Higgins and Kame combined for 15 kills, 16 digs, five blocks and six aces.

“Both of them practice hard,” Central coach Beth Nelson said. “The good thing is they are only juniors, so I have them another year.”

Higgins had eight kills, six digs, three aces and two digs. Kame had seven kills, 10 digs, three blocks and three assists. Ashley Wells added six kills, five digs, three blocks and three aces. Alyce Albright led Central with 10 assists.

“Whenever you win a tournament, it feels good,” Higgins said. “It gives you a boost of confidence. We feel strong as a team. We feel more composed.

“The big thing is focusing on serve-receive. Once we do that, it all comes together.”

The Warriors got off to a good start, led by Higgins with two kills in the first five points. Central built a 15-6 lead, but Eagle Valley (1-1) won eight of the next 11 points to get within four points and force Nelson to call a timeout.

It helped.

The Warriors won seven of the next eight points to finish the first game.

“It’s staying composed,” Kame said. “I think we do a good job of that. We served smart and played with a lot of confidence.”

Central carried the momentum into the second game, building a 10-1 lead with kills by Kame, Higgins and Annie Aylsworth and a couple of Kame aces.

Eagle Valley went on a 6-0 run to cut the gap to 12-8, but the Warriors put it in second gear, reeling off five consecutive points to push the lead to 10. Higgins finished off the second game with a kill and two aces.

Central started strong in the third game, taking an 11-3 lead. Eagle Valley got within seven twice, but it was too little, too late as Higgins recorded two kills and a block. Wells and Kame added a couple of late kills.

“We wanted to play our game,” Nelson said. “We wanted to control the ball and work on our passing.

“The biggest thing is we started strong and we finished strong. We did a good job playing steady.”

Brittany Richardson led Grand Junction with 13 kills, eight digs and two blocks in the Tigers’ three-game sweep of Moffat County in Craig. Grand Junction (3-2) defeated the Bulldogs 25-12, 25-12, 25-13.

College Soccer

• Mesa State survived chilly weather conditions to defeat Minnesota-Duluth 2-1 in Duluth.

Mesa State sophomore Dani Ramirez scored a goal in the first minute and the lead held up until Katrina Hartfield scored in the 80th minute for a 2-0 lead.

The Mavericks (2-0-0) gave up a goal in the 82nd minute before holding on for the victory.

“This is the second game we were scored on with a 2-0 lead with 10 minutes left,” Mesa State coach Erin Sharpe said. “It wasn’t our best 90 minutes, but the conditions (cold weather and wind) were a huge factor and we were able to get a win out of it.”

Mesa State goalkeeper Kaitlin Bennett made five saves. The Mavericks had nine shots to Duluth’s 11.

Prep Tennis

• Grand Junction won three of the four doubles matches and two singles matches to defeat Air Academy 5-2 in a nonleague dual at Grand Junction.

The Kadets’ Ben Swain held off Owen Gartner for a 6-1, 5-7, 6-4 victory at No. 1 singles. Grand Junction’s Dylan Prioetti and Parker Hegstrom won in straight sets at No. 2 and 3 singles.

Prep Golf

• Montrose’s Justin Russell tied for first with a 77 to lead the Indians to the team title in the Moffat County Invitational at Yampa Valley Golf Course.

Russell tied with Central’s Calan Hoppe, who led the Warriors to a fourth-place finish.

Montrose won the team title with 235, Steamboat Springs took second with 236 and Battle Mountain was third with 242.

Fruita Monument placed fifth (249) and Grand Junction was seventh (252), led by Matt Stern with a 79.


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