The problem in Titans’ loss to Hotchkiss: inconsistent play
PEACH VALLEY – The Titans have shown they can play winning volleyball at the Class 3A level. What Coal Ridge has not conquered yet is how to play consistently.That trait has been a bother to Titans coach Denise Greene all year.After Saturday’s 3-0 (25-18, 26-24, 25-15) loss to Hotchkiss, Greene’s level of patience toward the young Titans has just about run its course. “We just didn’t play well. My girls were not ready to play,” said Greene. “Being young, it’s been kind of up and down (with their play). That’s one thing they have to learn is how to step up and play every night.”Inconsistency by Coal Ridge on both sides of the net allowed Hotchkiss plenty of easy points.After dropping game one with little fight, the Titans’ funk continued through the middle of the second game. An eight-point run by Hotchkiss, that widened their lead to 14-6, proved Greene’s point.Six of the Bulldogs’ eight scores in that skein came off Coal Ridge unforced errors.A long return by Hotchkiss opened the door to the Titans’ longest run of good play the entire match. Back-to-back points from Callie Schlegel tied the game at 17-all. Hotchkiss pulled out to a 22-19 lead at one point only to have the Titans knot it again at 24-24 before the Bulldogs’ Amanda Orr pounded a shot to the back corner to take the lead for good.”It could have gone either way at that point,” said Greene. “But we’ve had lots of matches where we can’t seem to get over that hump and really push and get a win. Maybe it’s inexperience. But we just can’t seem to get it done quite yet.”The Titans tied it up three times in the next game. All came early.Earning an 8-all tie after the Bulldogs’ Amber Barnes’ return volley sailed wide, Coal Ridge failed to get within three points of Hotchkiss’ lead afterwards.Coal Ridge is off until Friday when the resume play with a road match at Basalt and a second road contest Saturday at Olathe.
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Amid hundreds of cleat-footed little leaguers casually gathered along the first baseline, the glare of parents’ sunglasses deflecting the early morning sun, coach Troy Phillips began a trip down memory lane.