Confident ’Cats sweep Junction

Mary McGee between Britney Richardson and Lisa Hughes of Grand Junction

When the Fruita Monument volleyball team is playing like it did Tuesday night against Grand Junction, it is hard to beat.

The Wildcats (10-4, 5-3 Southwestern League) cruised to a 25-10, 25-19, 25-14 victory over the Tigers (4-9, 0-6 SWL) in a packed, humid Grand Junction gym.

“I liked it because it was really loud,” Fruita setter Lindsey Henke said. “It was so hot, but that made the ball flow better.”

With the win, Fruita completed a season sweep against the Tigers, who never really got any offensive momentum going.

“We gave them game one and we had too many errors,” Grand Junction coach Lynnette Robinson said.

“We get down on ourselves and couldn’t get back up. We have to keep fighting and we are having a hard time with that.”

The Wildcats followed up their big first game by going on a 10-4 run with the game tied 15-15 to win. Fruita won the final game with a big run at the beginning, taking a quick 6-1 lead and never allowing Grand Junction back into it.

“The key was probably defense and not underestimating (Grand Junction),” Henke said. “We pushed through and finished the match.”

Fruita seemed to carry the momentum it earned from a sweep of the Four Corners teams last weekend into Tuesday’s match. The Wildcats’ hitters had big games, as Mary McGee ended with 10 kills and two blocks and Maia Sadler added eight kills and 13 digs. Nikki Kikes rounded out a solid front line attack with nine kills and 13 digs.

“We are really rolling and are to the point that our team confidence is at a big high,” Fruita coach Amelia Connor said. “We have to set the tone through the last league games, which will be crucial.”

The Wildcats finish the regular season with two SWL games against Montrose and Central with a dangerous Battle Mountain team in the middle of those two matches. Henke, who had 27 assists Tuesday, said the Wildcats are feeling good about where they are in the season.

“I think beating Durango in three (games) was huge because we haven’t done that in a long time,” Henke said. “Our team confidence is really high right now.”

Grand Junction, on the other hand, is struggling to escape the winless funk it has found itself in. The Tigers have been swept in their past three matches but have two nonleague matches against Coronado and Palmer to attempt to break the skid.

“We have to go back to having fun playing volleyball and controlling the game,” Robinson said.

Britney Richardson led the way for the Tigers with seven kills as Kelsey Kiel added six assists and 12 digs.


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