Fruita comes up just short of upsetting Durango

Durango’s volleyball team is ready to head home.

After outlasting Grand Junction 3-2 on Friday night, the Demons had another tough match Saturday, defeating Fruita Monument 3-2.

“It was a great match that was kill for kill,” Fruita coach Amelia Connor said. “We learned a big lesson today. We could have beaten the defending league champions.”

Fruita had put itself in prime position, winning the first two games 25-22, 27-25.

In the first game, the Wildcats rallied from a 19-13 deficit to win. Fruita got down late in the second game as well, but three crucial kills from Maia Sadler pushed the Wildcats through.

“We had amazing momentum in games one and two, but it was just a mental step we had to take,” Connor said. “We were hot and cold and it was that mental toughness part we had to work on.”

Durango rallied in the third and fourth games, winning 25-23 and 25-19. The Demons’ front line of Kelley Dodds, Anne Marie Pettinato and freshman Sloan Lovett gained momentum with every point, keeping the pressure on the Wildcats with key kills.

In the fifth game, Durango took an early four-point lead before the Wildcats cut the lead to 10-9. Fruita couldn’t get over the hump and fell 15-13.

“We were a little tight in the fifth game, which was a surprise, because this was our first fifth-game loss of the year,” Connor said.

“We were confident going in but we forgot the physical and mental things that it takes in a fifth game.”
Dodds had 21 kills, Lovett added 17 and Pettinato finished with nine. The Demons also had a spectacular performance from their senior setter, Katerina Garcia, who had 57 assists.

“They served us tough and we answered, they hit some tough balls and we answered,” Connor said. “I thought we had a lot of firepower, which is really exciting.”

Fruita was led by Mary McGee, who had 16 kills. Sadler had a solid all-around game finishing with 11 kills, 15 digs and one block. Setter Lindsey Henke had 23 assists to go with her 14 digs.

“We played really good as a team,” said Fruita senior Bri True, who had 22 digs. “We had them in the third but got ahead of ourselves and they came back.”

Fruita travels to Moffat County on Tuesday.

Cortez 3, Grand Junction 0: Grand Junction lost three close games to the Panthers, 25-22, 25-21, 29-27.

The Tigers were led by Britney Richardson, who had 16 kills and eight digs. Setter Morgan Jueschke added 20 assists.

Grand Junction travels to Montrose on Tuesday.

Palisade 3, Rifle 0: The Bulldogs cruised to their second straight conference win, defeating Rifle 25-16, 25-17, 25-23 at Palisade.

Chelsea Lorimor led the way for the Bulldogs with five kills, three aces and three blocks. 

Palisade travels to Delta on Tuesday.


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