Rifle spikers fall to Grand Junction Tigers | PostIndependent.com
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Rifle spikers fall to Grand Junction Tigers

GRAND JUNCTION – It was the Tigers’ time. That’s how Rifle coach Geneva Farr summed up Tuesday’s 3-0 nonleague volleyball loss to Grand Junction.”We can play the game,” Farr said. “I personally think that we need to get a win under our belts. That’s going to happen. It just takes more practice.”Playing a few matches against tamer opponents could also move the Bears’ goal up quicker.Tuesday’s match was the second straight contest Rifle has played against a Class 5A team, both of them on the road.Despite the unfamiliar surroundings, Rifle had a few spurts of good plays in the match’s early stages, which boosted the Bears confidence.Unfortunately, Rifle’s good moments were mixed in with a number of momentum-killing unforced errors. “We were up 7-2 (in the first game). We were consistent, then we just lost our trust out there,” Farr said. The Tigers responded to the deficit with a 5-0 scoring run for an 8-all tie, then ran the table for a 25-11 victory.And the Tigers, who upped their record to 4-2 on the year, never looked back afterwards.Unforced Rifle errors added to the Tigers’ lead. And, when Rifle did return the ball, Grand Junction’s front line of Adrianae Ciavonne, Antoinette McCormick and Jonell DeVencenty pounded back over for winners.”We did a great job blocking their middles – that’s something the girls haven’t done before, and we did a great job with that,” said Tigers coach Nicole Johnson. Especially in the second game where Grand Junction ran out to a 19-5 lead at one point, before wrapping up a 25-9 victory. McCormick and DeVencenty had most of the Tigers’ kills in that run.Later, McCormick finished the match with a thundering spike. It was the exclamation point to game three where Rifle pulled within one point of a Grand Junction lead after shaving a five-point deficit down to 13-12.The rally stalled with a rash of ill-timed unforced errors.Two long returns sandwiched between a multiple-hit violation and three late kills from McCormick led to Rifle’s undoing. In the Tigers’ 25-19 match-sealing win, the Bears were outscored 12-7.


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