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Rams end tournament with hard loss

Phil Sandoval

Losing is hard. Compound the fact that your season ends on the loss makes it that much tougher to take.Sadly, that’s what happened to Roaring Fork at Saturday’s Class 3A Region D tournament at Pagosa Springs High School.The Rams, making their first regional appearance in 14 years, extended the tournament to the fifth game of the final match of the evening in hopes of reaching next week’s state tournament.Roaring Fork came tantalizingly close to making their dream come true against the homestanding Pirates. In the fifth game and needing a victory over Pagosa to qualify for state, the Rams pulled to a 15-15 tie after being down 12-zip at one point.”It was an evenly-played match,” said Rams coach Karen Crownhart of the contest. The game scores backed up Crownhart’s appraisal.Roaring Fork rallied from a 1-0 game deficit to a 2-1 lead, then lost game four to set up an “all-or-nothing” 15-point game five with a state berth riding on the outcome.But, when the final point was issued, there were no yelps of celebration from the Ram bench. Instead, their were only tears. “It was their best game of the year,” Crownhart said of the Rams comeback effort. By that time, Roaring Fork had gotten used to the script.In their opening match against Weld Central, who finished tournament as the regional champ, unbeaten in all three of its matches, the Rams were scared and overmatched. “We looked like a deer in the headlights,” Crownhart said of the 3-0 (25-10, 25-18, 25-15) loss to the Rebels.Backs against the wall, Roaring Fork came out and swept Kent Denver (24-14, 25-14, 25-21) to set up an “all-or-nothing” affair with Pagosa Springs.”Pagosa played a great game to beat us,” Crownhart said. “We gained some experience and made a name for ourselves here.”And, with everyone in the starting lineup, except for setter Carly Velasquez set to come back next season, the Rams are looking to improve this year’s finish and earn their way into the state tournament.Roaring Fork concluded the year with an 18-5 record, which included an undefeated 11-0 romp through the 3A Western Slope League, a district title and a 16-match win streak.Roaring Fork concluded the year with an 18-5 record, which included an undefeated 11-0 romp through the 3A Western Slope League, a district title and a 16-match win streak.


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