‘Cats claw back to win in 5 games

The Fruita Monument High School volleyball team, despite being plagued by injuries and illness, claimed a 3-2 victory Saturday over Moffat County High School, 25-22, 25-17, 20-25, 22-25, 15-11.

“I’m glad we won,” Fruita head coach Bob Richardson said. “It was ugly volleyball all the way around. We just didn’t play well from the get-go. We have one girl sick, two girls injured, and we had girls playing where they have never played before. It wasn’t pretty.”

The Wildcats played without seniors Cynthia Brown and Katy Haerle and sophomore Joelle LeFevre.

Despite its depleted roster, Fruita won the first two games before Moffat County rallied to force the tiebreaker. With the 15-11 win in the fifth, the Wildcats are now 4-0 in five-game matches this season and improved to 7-1.

The Bulldogs had a chance to complete their comeback with the fifth game tied 8-8. They used a kill from Morgan Knob and an ace by Jessica Behrman to take the 10-8 lead, but Fruita scored seven of the last eight points to win the match.

Serving from Eiley Durham got Fruita the game five lead at 11-10 before Michelle Midgley served the final three points for the Wildcats. Jordan Eatwell delivered two crucial blocks to seal the Fruita win.

“They did good things for us in the front row today,” Richardson said of Eatwell and Durham. “Jordan is just a sophomore and is probably our leading hitter, at least percentage-wise. She does a good job when we can set her the ball. Eiley really came through at the end with her serves.”

It looked like another 3-0 victory was in store for Fruita after the Wildcats picked up 25-22 and 25-17 wins in the first two sets, but Moffat County forced the fifth set with 25-20 and 25-22 victories in the third and fourth sets.

The Fruita attack was led by Durham and Teddi Larson with 10 each.

Fruita’s Midgely posted four service aces and Durham added three. Knob led the Bulldogs with three aces.

Jen Morris led Fruita in both digs (6) and assists (4). Midgely added six digs for the Wildcats.

“Hopefully we’ll get a little healthier to be able to play Grand Junction in a tough game on Tuesday,” Richardson said. “In a big rivalry game, we’ll have to play better.”

Mesa Ridge Invitational: Palisade went 3-2 to take fourth place.

The Bulldogs defeated Fountain-Fort Carson 25-14, 25-23 led by Audrey Steinkirchner and Mecia Dearth with six kills and one block each. Shannon Rhodes had 18 assists.

Steinkirchner had 12 kills in Palisade’s 23-25, 26-24, 15-11 win over Mesa Ridge. Dearth had six kills and one block in a 25-7, 25-13 win over Wasson.

Cañon City defeated the Bulldogs 18-25, 25-21, 15-1. Vista Ridge defeated Palisade 25-20, 21-25, 16-14.

Palmer Invitational: Grand Junction defeated host Palmer 28-30, 25-23, 25-21, 27-25 to take third place.

Katie Walker had nine kills and seven aces to lead the Tigers.

Grand Junction defeated Peak to Peak, but lost to Sand Creek earlier in the tournament.


Grand Junction held off a late rally to defeat Fossil Ridge 5-4 to win the Eagle Valley Invitational.

The Tigers defeated Eagle Valley 20-0 and Delta 16-7 to reach the final.

Morgan Zanski hit two home runs in the win over Delta.

Dave Sanders Invitational: Fruita Monument defeated Highlands Ranch 12-4, but lost to Monte Vista 15-2.

Mallory Paulson hit two home runs in the win. Mariah O’Dell had a solo home run against Monte Vista.

Central defeated Bear Creek 8-6, but lost to Lakewood 7-5.

Brittany Hoppe hit a three-run home run in the Warriors’ win.

Berthoud Invitational: Palisade was limited to one run in losses to Brush and Niwot.


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