Titans drop first two games of home tournament
Opening up their home volleyball tournament Friday in New Castle, the Coal Ridge Titans’ girls volleyball team fell to the Palisade Bulldogs and Valley Vikings in straight sets by scores of 24-26, 24-26, 9-25 and 23-25, pushing the Titans into the consolation bracket on Saturday.
Against the Bulldogs, Coal Ridge fought hard in both sets of the best-of-three tournament but ultimately came up short in both sets.
Looking to bounce back in the second game against the Valley Vikings, who came into the tournament ranked No. 3 in 3A, the Titans got off to a slow start and dropped the first set by a disappointing score of 9-25, but the second set was a different story altogether.
The Titans quickly raced out to a 5-2 lead behind a big kill from sophomore Alexa Weiscamp. The emerging sophomore then added an ace to push the Coal Ridge lead to 6-2. A kill by senior Dana Kotz made it 8-3 before the Vikings responded and drew to within 8-6 before an ace from junior Paige Harlow stopped the run.
Holding a 10-6 lead, sophomore MacKenzie Crawford came up with a huge block at the net for the Titans before back-to-back aces from junior Emily Wright made it 15-7 Coal Ridge, forcing a Valley timeout.
Coming out of the timeout a few minutes later, a kill by Kotz made it 17-11 Titans, who looked to pull away and force a third set, but the Vikings picked things up and rallied to tie the game at 19-19.
Senior Nicole Mooney briefly put the Titans back in front with a big ace, but a kill by Valley outside hitter Delaney Eckhardt put the Vikings in front 22-21 late in the set.
Crawford and Weiscamp then teamed up on the next point to tie the game back up at 22-22, but a 3-1 run by the Vikings — largely due to a long serve and a long volley by Coal Ridge — gave Valley the 2-0 win, pushing the Titans into the consolation bracket.
Coal Ridge will take on Alamosa on Saturday at 11 a.m.