Devils down Moffat County in home opener
GYPSUM – It took three games and a near loss for Devils fans to wake up in Eagle Valley volleyball’s home opener Saturday.
The 3A Devils battled back from a 2-1 deficit to beat 4A Moffat County in five games, 23-25, 25-23, 20-25, 25-20, 15-11, at Eagle Valley.
Eagle Valley had 16 aces, 17 blocks, 43 digs and 43 kills in the match.
“It was a good start to our home season,” said Eagle Valley coach Karl Talcott. “Moffat County’s had tough teams in the past, and we came out sputtering a little bit. They had a really nice defensive effort. We led at the beginnings of games, but they would come back on scrappy play.”
In the first game of the match, the Devils jumped out to a 5-2 lead due to a few aces from junior superstar Kenzie Shreeve’s potent jump serve.
But, strong kills from Moffat County’s Stephanie Kloos, a pattern of errant serves and an impressive array of digs by the Bulldogs left the Devils with an early loss.
The Devils built a 20-10 lead in the second game behind some finesse kills by senior captain Trista Sandoval and pin-point jump serves from junior Shannon Aragon.
The Bulldogs mounted a 13-3 run to tie the game at 23, and Shreeve answered with two-consecutive kills to give the Devils the win.
The Bulldogs had won the first two points of the third game, when a kill by Shreeve and five straight points from junior captain and setter Whitney Donohue put the Devils up, 6-2.
Moffat County’s defense provided a long run midway through the game, winning multiple, long-volley points on tough digs and strong finishes. The Bulldogs won, 25-20.
When junior outside hitter Mariah Scott spent seven early points behind the service line, Eagle Valley began to win the shouting match going on between the fans of the two teams. And, when the Devils pulled ahead for good, the Eagle Valley fans were the roaring, foot-stomping majority they should be.
“The fourth game intensified our energy,” said Sandoval.
“Game 4 was really indicative of the character of this team,” said Talcott. “It took a lot of heart to win this one.”
In the fifth game, the Devils took the lead and kept it to win, 15-11.
“We played as a team really well,” said Donohue. “To come back after being down two games to one.”
The Devils were pleased with their victory, but realize they still have a lot to work on if they want to have a successful season.
“We need to go down on the specifics of defense and really nail them,” said Sandoval.
Eagle Valley travels to Middle Park Tuesday for another rally-scoring fiesta at 6 p.m.
Devils softball 3-2 at Blue River
Eagle Valley softball beat St. Mary’s Academy (11-0), Rifle (9-8) and lost to Platte Canyon (6-1) Saturday in Silverthorne.
In the Devils’ game against Rifle, senior Jessica Jagger’s two-out hit drove in Sara LysBarger to cap a 3-run comeback as the 1 hour, 15 minute time limit ended the game.
The Devils trailed 8-6 going into the last inning and quickly got two outs. But, the Devils strung together four straight hits to pull out the win.
Eagle Valley travels to Aspen Tuesday for a game at 4 p.m.
Andrew Harley can be contacted at (970) 949-0555 ext. 608 or at email@example.com.
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