Fruita volleyball team finishes 2nd in SWL
It could’ve been a trying season for the Fruita Monument High School volleyball team.
After losing some key seniors last season, coach Bob Richardson had to lean on some young players.
The Wildcats closed out the regular season with a 25-14, 28-26, 25-14 victory over Central on Tuesday night at Central High School. Fruita Monument (13-6, 6-4 SWL) clinched a Class 5A district playoff berth and second place in the Southwestern League.
“We started five sophomores and played seven sophomores and it’s not like we’re throwing them in there,” Richardson said. “We lost a lot of seniors from last year, but it’s still been a good year for us. The sophomores have done well.”
Senior Teddi Larson led Fruita with nine kills. Junior Eiley Durham had eight kills and three aces. Sophomores Jordan Eatwell and Loryn Chipuzio each had six kills. Sophomore Danae Ungaro had 20 assists and senior Michelle Midgley had 23 digs.
Robbi Termentozzi led Central (5-11, 3-5 SWL) with six kills and four blocks. Rayleigh Norton had 11 assists and Kimber Baker had 10 digs. The Warriors qualified for districts as well.
Fruita got off to a good start, building a 12-5 lead with the help of some Central errors and never looked back.
After exchanging leads three times early on in the second game, the Warriors went on an 8-2 run behind the serving of Termentozzi and Mariah Garcia to take a 15-9 lead.
The Wildcats closed the gap then retook the lead on a deflected kill originally ruled out.
Central overcame the mistake and had game point two times, only to see Morris come through with three kills to set up game point and a 28-26 win.
“Volleyball is a momentum game,” Richardson said. “We work on a lot on practice on end games. At that point, it becomes a mentally tougher game.”
Fruita Monument went on a 10-1 run in the third game to build a 19-10 lead. The Wildcats won four of the final five points to close the match.
“We are working on speeding our offense up,” Richardson said. “We’re not quite there yet. We not only wanted to win this game, we wanted to play the kind of offense we need to against the bigger schools in the playoffs.”
Montrose 3, Grand Junction 0: The Indians swept Grand Junction 25-13, 25-17, 25-17.
Hailey Wells led Montrose (9-8, 4-4 SWL) with seven kills.
Kricket Adelman led the Tigers (8-11, 2-8 SWL) with seven kills in their season finale.
Palisade 3, Delta 1: The Bulldogs overcame an error-plagued first game for the Western Slope League victory.
Shannon Rhodes had 45 assists to lead Palisade (15-3, 10-1 WSL). Jenny Thibodeau had 13 digs and four aces.