Mancos headed to state playoffs in volleyball

For the Mancos High School volleyball team, a trip to the state playoffs came down to one kill.

The Bluejays were winning by only two points Saturday in the fifth game of their final match of the Class 2A District C tournament.

Luckily, the senior experience of Aimee Johnson paid off, as she finished with a match-clinching kill against Vail Mountain School.

“I was like, ‘Oh goodness, don’t let me miss it,’ ” Johnson said.

The win secured second place in the tournament and a spot in the state volleyball tournament. It wasn’t easy getting there.

After beating Vail Christian in the opening match, the Bluejays lost to rival and tournament champion Dolores.

In the final match against Vail Mountain, Mancos started by winning the first two games, then lost the second two.

“We’ve had such a roller coaster of a day,” Mancos coach Ramona Shepard said.

“The first two games we played them nicely, played them under control and won. Then it was like, ‘Who are you guys?’ “

In the fifth game, Mancos took a 6-1 lead, but the Gore Rangers kept finding ways to come back.

But when the Bluejays got the serve back with the score at 14-12 and senior Jesse Paquin serving, that’s when Shepard felt comfortable

“I had my best server at the line and I thought to myself, ‘We couldn’t have it at a better time,’ ” she said.

The play off Paquin’s serve eventually became Johnson’s game winning kill.

Dolores who won all three of its matches to receive a berth in the state tournament.

Tess Wallace, one of two seniors on Dolores’ team, was a key player in the tournament, clinching the three-game victory over Vail Christian that gave the Bears the title.

“Before we even started, the team said, ‘This is for the seniors and we really want to do this,’ ”  Wallace said. “There are only two of us, so it meant a lot.”

Wallace recorded 10 kills, two aces and nine digs in the win against the Saints, and fellow senior Jordan McHenry contributed 12 kills.

The Bears’ key win came in four games against Mancos. It was the fourth time the teams played this season and came after Dolores had lost two straight against the Bluejays.

“Of all the games to beat Mancos, this was the one, and we did it. It fueled our momentum for the third (match),” Dolores coach Gina Hollen said.

Montrose went 1-2 in the Class 4A Region D tournament.

Roaring Fork and Faith Christian had to play a sudden-death game in the Class 3A Region D tournament. Faith Christian won 25-20 to earn the region’s second state tournament berth. Hotchkiss went 0-3 in the regional.

Dove Creek lost in its bid to advance to state from 1A Region A.


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