Rifle volleyball squad sees plenty of progress; football team hosts Moffat County on Friday | PostIndependent.com

Rifle volleyball squad sees plenty of progress; football team hosts Moffat County on Friday

Jon Mitchell
Citizen Telegram Sports Editor
Rifle High School outside hitter Jordan Cody goes up for a hit during the Bears' volleyball match against Denver Christian on Aug. 31 in this past weekend's Demon Invitational tournament in Glenwood Springs. The Bears won three of their four matches in the tournament.
Jon Mitchell/Citizen Telegram |

So much for Rifle High School’s volleyball team being a doormat.

The Bears, playing in their last year of Class 3A volleyball before moving up to Class 4A in 2014, have aspirations of reaching the postseason. And they took a step toward that goal this past weekend, going 3-1 in the 16-team Demon Invitational volleyball tournament at Glenwood Springs High School.

“These girls never give up,” Rifle coach Erin Reider said. “We were down by 10 many times over the course of the tournament, and the girls kept fighting and playing hard. We didn’t have just one individual who stood out. It was a team effort.

“This is,” the coach continued, “exactly where we wanted to be after this tournament.”

After falling 25-19, 25-8 to Glenwood Springs in the tournament opener, Rifle rebounded with a 25-21, 31-33, 15-11 victory over West Grand on Aug. 30. The following day, the Bears beat Meeker 21-25, 25-12, 17-15, then followed with a 22-25, 25-21, 15-7 win against Denver Christian later in the day.

Reider said seniors Jordan Cody and Leah Antonelli made big contributions, along with senior setter Sarah McCutchan.

Rifle will begin Class 3A Western Slope League play tonight when the Bears host Moffat County. At 1 p.m. Saturday, the Bears will host a nonleague match against Battle Mountain.

Rifle softball team has rough start

The Rifle softball team ran into a tough pair of opponents to start the season, losing a nonleague doubleheader to Montrose on Aug. 31 following a close Class 4A Western Slope League loss to Delta to open the season.

The Bears weren’t able to get much offense going against the Indians in their 19-8 and 13-2 losses on Aug. 31, managing just eight base hits during the two games. Rifle was also facing a Montrose squad that plays in the Class 5A/4A Southwestern League.

Rifle played a Class 4A Western Slope League game against Eagle Valley in Gypsum on Tuesday and came away with a 14-3 victory. The Bears will be off until Sept. 10, when they host another league game against Palisade.

Rifle ready for league play

Rifle’s football team, the No. 2-ranked Class 3A team in Colorado according to this week’s CHSAAnow.com poll, showed there’s not a lot of talent drop-off from a year ago.

The Bears beat up on Coal Ridge 54-6, going ahead 47-0 at halftime and racked up 412 yards of total offense by the time the game ended. Layton Stutsman was solid throwing the ball, completing 3-of-6 passes for 68 yards and a touchdown. The left-handed quarterback completed his first three passes of the game.

What’s more, Coal Ridge didn’t score until the final play of the game. The Titans got on the board on a 25-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Trevor Wade to senior Jerome Pizelli, both of whom were competing for the starting quarterback spot this season. And that TD only came because of a penalty prior to that final play, which gave Coal Ridge one final shot at the end zone against the Bears’ second-string defense.

Rifle will put its 21-game regular-season winning streak on the line when it hosts Moffat County in the Class 3A Western Slope League opener for both teams. The Bulldogs lost their season opener at Ridgeview Academy, 20-6, on Aug. 31.

Game time is slated for 7 p.m. at Bears Stadium.

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