Central outlasts Montrose in volleyball
Certain teams must be put away early.
The Central High School volleyball team took a 2-0 lead at home Thursday against Montrose before the Indians rallied to tie the match at 2-2.
The Warriors ground out a close win in the fifth game for a 25-21, 25-17, 23-25, 20-25, 15-11 victory.
“Montrose was very scrappy, and you respect that,” Central middle blocker Chelsey Garcia said. “We were just trying to hit it where they weren’t.”
The Warriors (12-3, 3-2 Southwestern League) might have been going home disappointed if it weren’t for some timely kills from Garcia and outside hitter Ashley Wells.
In the fifth game, Garcia responded to Rebecca Switzler’s kill with one of her own, giving Central a 10-7 lead. Garcia had another kill to push the score to 14-11 and Wells put the final game away with a kill.
“We knew it wasn’t going to be easy,” Garcia said. “We knew what they were capable of and we had to work hard to finish it.”
Garcia finished with 13 kills. The 6-foot Garcia has the size to be dangerous on the attack, and she showed that against the Indians.
“Garcia doesn’t have a hard hit, but she places it really well,” Central coach Beth Nelson said. “I feel like she’s been consistent and we can trust her.”
Garcia’s attacks could have been a by-product of the night Wells had. The 5-11 senior finished with 25 kills, including some that ricocheted off Montrose players.
Wells had four kills in the final six points to close out the second game.
“(Wells) came through when we really needed it,” Nelson said. “Having her play like that at the net was key in this match.”
Montrose (6-9, 0-3 SWL) contained Wells in the third and fourth games, which allowed the Indians to get back into the match. Montrose coach Shane Forrest said her team did a better job of digging Wells as the match progressed.
“Our back row started reading balls better and found out they could dig Ashley Wells,” Forrest said. “But she’s tough and comes up with the big play when they need it.”
The Indians’ Emma Cooling finished with 40 digs and Brittany Berry led Montrose with 15 kills.
Central’s Nikki Keeling had 44 assists and Wells had 25 digs.
Thursday’s win gave Central the season sweep over Montrose.
“It was hard, but the girls did a good job with the adjustments,” Nelson said. “The bottom line was this was a homecoming match for us and we had to pull it out.”
Fruita Monument won at Palisade, 25-21, 25-22, 25-15.
Camille Kovach had a solid all-around match for the Wildcats (14-1, 4-1 SWL) with eight kills, 14 digs and three aces.
Angie Archuleta added 14 assists.
Audrey Steinkirchner had 14 kills, four blocks and three aces for Palisade (9-5, 6-1 Western Slope League).
“It was a good team for us to play, but we didn’t play the type of match we wanted to,” Palisade coach Wendy MacAskill said. “We lost some confidence and that reflected in the match.”
Palisade (13-6, 4-0 WSL) ended its regular season on a tear with a 15-3 win over Rifle.
The Bulldogs have won seven in a row, including the past five by 10 or more runs.
Regan VanNoy went 3 for 4 with a home run, a double and four RBI for the Bulldogs.
Shelby Hanson struck out nine Rifle batters.