Rams top Titans in four
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
CARBONDALE, Colorado – Megan Gianinetti and the Roaring Fork volleyball team had Saturday’s match against visiting Coal Ridge circled on the schedule for quite some time.
“We have been looking forward to it,” Gianinetti said. “We just wanted to prove to ourselves that we are right up there in the top part of our league, so we were really excited about this game and coming out and doing well.”
Gianinetti’s team did well all right, knocking off the Titans in four games (25-22, 27-25, 25-16, 25-20) to secure second place in the 3A Western Slope League.
The two teams entered the afternoon with a combined 31-5 record, and the match’s early proceedings played out in a predictably close manner.
After battling to 15 tie counts in the first game, the host Rams closed it out with three straight points for the 25-22 win.
Seven tie counts followed in a similarly back-and-forth Game 2 that Coal Ridge’s Paige Ryan closed out with a high-velocity serve that ricocheted wildly off the hands of a Roaring Fork defender.
Rams coach Carrie Shultz certainly wasn’t surprised at how close the opening games were.
“Our records are pretty much identical,” she said. “We’ve beat all the same teams, lost to the same teams, so we knew it’d be a good matchup. It’s great to have that at the end of the season moving on to the postseason.”
Roaring Fork came alive in the third and fourth games, though, rallying to comfortable leads before closing each one out on a day the Rams honored their seniors.
“We were just kind of playing how we know how,” said Gianinetti, who is one of those seniors. “I just think, with senior night and stuff, we had a few nerves. We were kind of testing out the waters, but I think we started earning some points, which really helped us.”
GIaninetti is one of seven seniors for the Rams. Her twin sister, Hattie, is also part of the group, as are Georgia Ackerman, Taylor Adams, Mariah Ahumada, Madison Handy and Caitlin Kinney.
Megan Gianinetti led Roaring Fork (17-2 overall, 8-1 in the 3A WSL) with 14 kills. Hattie Gianinetti had 13 kills and 13 digs. Adams finished with 19 digs, Handy 12 digs and Rosa Maun five blocks.
As a team, the Rams racked up 10 blocks.
Rebecca Mitchell led Coal Ridge (15-4, 7-2) with 10 kills. Paige Ryan had eight kills and three blocks and Leah Kanakaraj finished with 13 digs. Setter Maggie Bell tallied 26 assists.
“The first two games, we played really well,” Titans coach Scott Black said. “Then we kind of let down. I don’t know why. I’m happy we played well at the beginning. We have some stuff to work on, but we’ll be all right.”
Next up for both teams is the Friday-Saturday 3A WSL tournament, which will give each of the conference’s 10 schools four more matches. The tournament, which will be held at Grand Junction Central, has no bearing on postseason seeding, however.
Starting this season, the Colorado High School Activities Association switched to a playoff system in which only league champions automatically qualify for Class 3A’s 36-team bracket. The remaining teams are selected based on the MaxPreps Freeman rankings, in which records and strength of schedule are used to formulate a rating for each team in the state.
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