David Walck had plenty of reason to be stressed out Tuesday night.
"I think I just aged about five years in the past hour," the Grand Valley High School volleyball coach said.
The Cardinals gave their coach plenty of reason to fret, but even more reasons to rejoice following their 3A Western Slope League match at Rifle. They rallied from a two-set deficit with some lengthy runs, then held off a late run in the fifth and deciding game for a 19-25, 22-25, 25-23, 25-17, 15-10 victory.
"I told my team to step on the floor ready to play, and we didn't come in here ready to play," said senior setter Tarianna Lawrence, who finished with 28 assists and a pair of aces for Grand Valley (4-5 overall, 2-1 league play). "We changed things. We got after it. We went for everything and weren't lazy, we were all fired up and we were competing."
Kayla Fredrich had 10 service aces and four kills and Kyra Chenoweth pumped in a match-high 14 kills for the Cardinals, who faced a 19-9 deficit in the third game. But a Rifle service error, followed by a hitting error and a kill off a dig from Lyndsey Anderson, sparked a 16-4 run the rest of the way to help Grand Valley avoid the sweep.
A 6-0 run late in the fourth game gave the Cardinals a 23-15 cushion and paved the way to a decisive fifth game, where four consecutive aces from Fredrich helped Grand Valley open an 11-1 lead. Hitting errors by the Cardinals, along with a kill from Sarah McCutchan and an ace from Kylee Orgill, pulled Rifle (5-7, 2-1) within 14-10, but a kill from Grand Valley's Megan Smith capped the Cardinals' comeback.
"I was pretty frustrated," said Walck, referring to his team's play through the first two games. "This is a pretty outstanding group of kids, so it's hard to get mad at them. But they made me mad. ... They weren't even honoring Rifle with their best play. I got after them and ... they said, 'That ticked us off.' I told them I was glad it did, but it shouldn't have to take that."
and four aces from McCutchan in the loss. The Bears will continue league play tonight at Gunnison while Grand Valley continues league play at home Saturday against Aspen.
Glenwood Springs downs Rifle boys soccer team
Playing with a short-handed roster because of disciplinary issues, Rifle's boys soccer team dropped a 9-1 decision to Glenwood Springs on Tuesday.
The Demons (2-5, 1-5 4A Western Slope League) snapped a five-game losing streak with the win. Diego Suarez scored the only goal of the game for Rifle (2-5, 1-5).
Rifle continues league play at 11 a.m. Saturday when it hosts Steamboat Springs.
Roman runs to top-10 finish for Cardinals
Grand Valley's Rocio Roman led her team on Saturday at the Hotchkiss Invitational cross country meet. The senior clocked in at 23 minutes, 6 seconds to take sixth place in the girls race.
Isaiah Martinez of Grand Valley finished 17th in the boys race with a time of 20:27.93. Teammates Miguel Valles took 25th (21:19), Joel Carrasco 27th (21:22) and Jonathan Marbas 47th (22:50.34).