Defense lifts Central volleyball team past Coal Ridge

Palisade’s Lexi Hall hits a shot Tuesday night over the block of Eagle Valley’s Molly Jewett, 9, and Ashley Newborn, 14, for one of her six kills in the Bulldogs’ 25-13, 25-20, 25-15 loss.

Central’s defense, passing and middle hitting clicked Tuesday as the Warriors defeated Coal Ridge 25-11, 25-23, 27-25 in nonleague volleyball.

“Part of our success was getting our middles really involved,” Central coach Jennifer Armendariz said. “Our defense really stepped it up. Our passing really stepped it up. ... When our passing is there, we’re a much more successful team. We can run our offense, and we can get our middles involved.”

Nichole McIvor led the Warriors’ hitters with 11 kills. Sara Stahly added nine kills and four blocks, and Madi Marston had seven kills. Setter Rayleigh Norton did a little of everything with 26 assists, four blocks, 13 digs and two aces.

Armendariz also praised the play and leadership of senior libero Hannah Price, who led Central with 23 digs.

Armendariz said she was proud of the way the Warriors responded when Coal Ridge got some momentum going in Games 2 and 3. The Titans were serving for game point with a 25-24 lead in the third game.

“We kept our composure and stayed confident and played together as a team,” Armendariz said.

Central improved to 7-12, and Coal Ridge, which is ranked 
No. 10 in Class 3A, dropped to 16-3.

■ Eagle Valley defeated Palisade 25-13, 25-20, 25-15 in 4A Western Slope League play.

Lexi Hall led Palisade (4-18, 2-9 WSL) with six kills.

■ Carson Pipher and Easton Hartigan had 13 and 10 kills, respectively, as undefeated Paonia beat Soroco 25-12, 25-7, 25-20 in a Class 2A District 5 playoff match.

Easton Hartigan added six aces, and Morgan Hartigan had nine kills and four aces. Taylor Carsten led the Eagles (20-0) with 28 digs, and she matched Morgan Hartigan with 11 digs.


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