Warriors top GJ in volleyball

In years past, the Central High School volleyball team would often enter Grand Junction’s gym confident of a victory.

That was before Tuesday.

Although the Warriors remained undefeated in the Southwestern League with a victory over their cross-town rivals, the Tigers made them work for it.

Central defeated Grand Junction 25-20, 22-25, 25-20, 25-21.

“I think they definitely stepped up their game,” Central coach Beth Nelson said.

The team that got the early lead in each game won. That, said Grand Junction coach Lynette Robinson, may have been her team’s problem at the beginning.

“I wish we could have had game one,” Robinson said of the game in which the Tigers came back from a nine-point deficit to pull to within four. “It would have been a totally different match.”

Fours service errors, six hitting errors and a rotation violation doomed the Tigers in the opening game.

“They out-hustled us sometimes,” Warriors junior middle hitter Ashley Wells said. “What really hurt us was our own mental errors.”

The Warriors got back in sync after the game-two loss to win the match.

Central (7-1, 3-0 SWL) went 4-1 at last weekend’s Lewis-Palmer Invitational tournament. The trip gave the Warriors some valuable court (and off-court) time together.

As for the bonding experience, “We’re bringing it back on the court,” Wells said of taking the camaraderie from the van to the gym, something the Warriors worked to carry over into Grand Junction’s gym.

“Each match (in the tournament) we made the changes we needed to,” Nelson said.

“I think we’ve improved on being consistent (and) knowing each other,” said Wells, who had a balanced match with 13 kills, 14 digs and three aces, leading the team in the latter two categories.

The match also marked the return to the full rotation for senior middle hitter Amy Kame, who incurred jammed fingers in her left (non-hitting) hand during practice last Thursday and was relegated to the front row for the Lewis-Palmer tournament. Kame finished with a team-leading 20 kills and five blocks.

Grand Junction (5-5, 1-3) got a balanced match from its front row, with five players recording at least four kills, led by Kricket Adleman’s eight.


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