Titans beat Cedaredge to finish regular season
PEACH VALLEY – Coal Ridge put the finishing touches on its best-ever regular season with a three-game volleyball dismissal of Cedaredge on Saturday.Next on the Titans’ agenda: a strong showing at next weekend’s district tournament.
Behind the arm of junior Chloe Nelson, Coal Ridge took care of the visiting Bruins by counts of 25-12, 25-11, 25-15 to improve to 14-5 overall and finish with an 11-3 Class 3A Western Slope League record. Only Basalt had a better league mark at 13-1, meaning the Titans will take the No. 2 seed into districts. That’s uncharted territory for a team that didn’t win a league match in its first-ever varsity season (2005-06) and won just two last year.”We’ve just come so far,” said Nelson, who smacked 11 kills on Saturday. “The biggest difference is experience. We’re playing with a lot more team unity.”
That showed against Cedaredge. The Titans were never really threatened, breaking out to big leads early. They never trailed in a game after reaching the five-point plateau, capitalizing on a number of Bruin miscues.Senior Callie Schlegel finished with five kills, followed by junior Kaitlin Moeller and Mini Kanakaraj – the Titans’ only other senior – with three apiece. Junior setter Sierra Grove dished out 19 assists.
Coal Ridge, which went into last year’s district tournament as a major underdog, enters this year’s as one of the top dogs with Basalt, Olathe and Gunnison. Finishing in the top two would assure the Titans of emerging from the eight-team, Friday-Saturday showdown at Grand Junction Central with a spot at regionals. Basalt automatically has a regional spot locked up by virtue of taking the league title.Coal Ridge coach Denise Greene couldn’t be happier that her team controls its own destiny at this point of the season. “It’s awesome,” she said. “They’ve worked really, really hard to earn this opportunity. They keep improving all the time. They’re ready. They’re excited.”
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The Coal Ridge High boys suffered their first 3A Western Slope League loss of the year Thursday night on the road at Gunnison, falling to the defending league champion Cowboys 65-45.