Rams drop marathon match to Gunnison
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
CARBONDALE, Colorado – Roaring Fork’s volleyball players are already eager to get another crack at Gunnison. After coming agonizingly close to a comeback win against the visiting Cowboys on Saturday, it’s no wonder the Rams want a chance at redemption.
Storming back from a 2-0 deficit to force a fifth and deciding game, Roaring Fork just fell short against 3A Western Slope League-leading Gunnison. The Cowboys won by game counts of 25-19, 25-17, 24-26, 20-25 and 15-9.
“We’ll match up with them again, hopefully, at districts,” Rams coach Carrie Shultz said. “I know the girls are already wanting another chance at it.”
Had Roaring Fork found its rhythm a bit earlier on Saturday, it might already have a win against Gunnison under its belt.
But a sluggish start put the Rams in an early hole, one they clawed out of with a fury. Hattie Gianinetti, who belted a team-high 22 kills, finished off both the third and fourth games with kills to the delight of a raucous home crowd.
Although the momentum had rather forcefully swung in the Rams’ direction in Games 3 and 4, Gunnison somehow gritted out a Game 5 victory.
“We just always focus on forgetting what previously happened and just always focus on what is to come,” Cowboys coach Shana Benson said. “This was a big hump for us to get over. We’ve had a couple matches where we’ve gotten a team to five games and we’ve lost. This is a big hurdle for us to get over.”
The Cowboys’ big hitters – Brooke Stephens, Caylor Albers and Alyssa Nelson among them – bailed them out down the stretch, coming up with a number of kills at key times.
“We knew they’d be big,” Shultz said. “We split with them last year and they didn’t really graduate many kids. We knew it’d be a battle.”
Caitlin Kinney finished with 13 kills for Roaring Fork, which dropped to 9-2 overall and to 1-1 in the 3A WSL. Megan Gianinetti had 10 kills and Madison Handy eight.
Defensively, Kinney’s 27 digs led the way. Taylor Adams had 24 digs, Megan Gianinetti 18, Josie Horn 17 and Handy 14. Rosa Maun and Hattie Gianinetti chipped in with eight blocks apiece and Adams racked up 46 assists.
Next up for Roaring Fork is a trip to Eagle Valley on Tuesday.
Gunnison, now 10-3 overall and 3-0 in league play, will host Rifle on Thursday.
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