Devils fall to Bulldogs in three games
GYPSUM – Early on Thursday night, Moffat County knew the Eagle Valley volleyball squad was going to make it fighting match.After trailing by a sizable margins in the first and third games, the Devils stormed back to send the games into extra points, but the Bulldogs held on to defeat the Devils, 26-24, 25-13, 27-25.”The scores show the heart both teams have,” said Moffat coach Becky Jackson. “Eagle Valley came from behind and kept us on our toes, and we kept them on their toes.”Trailing, 5-0, in the final game, the Devils pulled ahead, 9-8, starting a seesaw battle that lasted the rest of the game. With the Bulldogs leading, 17-15, Eagle Valley coach Rob Crawford called a timeout to make some adjustments.”(Assistant coach) Sean Weatherhead brought it to my attention that we were getting in more problems blocking than anything else,” Crawford said. “Once we backed off blocking, we scored more points than they did, but we figured out the keys to success a little too late.”Even with the Devils’ change of plans, the Bulldogs found other ways to edge out the Devils.”Some of our hardest, most aggressive hits were dug up, and that really hurts our feelings,” Crawford joked. “It’s rude – they should just let them hit the ground.”As rude as it may have been, the Devils weren’t the most gracious hosts either, digging and blocking a slew of Moffat hits.
“There was some good defense and hustle out there,” Crawford said. Kellee Hollis had a game-high four blocks, while Moffat’s Amy Dilldine registered three blocks.Tips clubBoth teams used tips to keep balls alive all game. On some points, the Devils had two or three tips in a row to save a point.”It’s something we do a lot in practice, but it doesn’t always show up in game,” said Joanna Storer.While Eagle Valley used tips to keep points alive, Moffat tipped for points. The Bulldogs’ April Sanchez was proficient with her tips, mixing them in among her big spikes.”This is the best match she’s had doing that,” Jackson said. “She’s always working on getting a run at a few, and letting loose.”
Sanchez led her team in kills with seven. Becky White and Brenna Conci each had four kills.For the Devils, Ashley Farenholtz was swinging hard all night. She collected a game-high eight kills. Michele Parmenter had five kills, and Ryanne Wilson had three.During the match, the Devils mixed up the setting position, rotating between Storer, Lyndee Cox, and freshman Whitney VanVoorst.Bon voyageThe match was Senior Night for Eagle Valley, and marked the final home game for the team’s three seniors, Storer, Hollis and Amanda Padilla.”It was our last home game, so it really got us more excited,” Padilla said. “We showed we could come back against them.”With the Bulldogs leading 24-23 in the final game, Eagle Valley staved off two match points, but Sanchez ended the match with a monster kill.
Eagle Valley’s comeback in the first game was a bit more impressive. The Devils trailed 17-9, but tied the game at 23 before falling on an call where the referee overruled a line judge.During the match, Crawford used well-placed timeouts to bring his team together.”He really sticks on your side whether you are losing or winning,” Storer said.Crawford lamented that his team hasn’t won more this season, but lauded the attitude of his team.”They still hang tough and smile after they lose. Fairly soon, not right after,” Crawford said.The Devils finish the season on the road against Steamboat Springs Saturday.Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 608, or firstname.lastname@example.org.Vail, Colorado