Titans edge Roaring Fork in five-game victory
CARBONDALE ” In a close match with more aces dealt out than in a Friday night Texas Hold ‘Em game, the Coal Ridge volleyball team squeaked by Roaring Fork with a 3-2 (23-25, 25-10, 20-25, 25-20, 15-13) win in Class 3A Western Slope play on Saturday.
“It was amazing,” said Titan outside hitter Chloe Nelson. “We’ve never pulled out of five-game match and won like that. This is the first one, it feels good.”
Each team dished up eight point-earning serves, with Roaring Fork’s Erica Pelland and Coal Ridge’s Jessica Needham each throwing down four. Strong serving also jump-started long streaks for each team. Back-to-back aces by Pelland propelled Roaring Fork to a 7-2 lead in game three, a game the Rams went on to win 25-20. Kaitlin Moeller served one ace in a 6-0 Titan streak that led to a 25-10 Coal Ridge victory in game two.
“Serving was a big part of today’s game,” said Ram head coach Kacey Daugherty.
Being down two games to one, Coal Ridge rallied in the last two games with big kills from Nelson. Game four was close early and the score tied at nine. The Titans pulled away with aces from Callie Schlegel and Needham and won the game when a Pelland attempted kill went out.
Game five was the closest battle of the match with the score being tied three different times. At the net, it was an attacking showdown between Pelland and Nelson. Each got up for monstrous kills, pumping their teams, and the crowd up. Pelland had five kills in the game and totaled 18 in the match. Nelson recorded four in the match and 15 on the day. When Nelson hammered one of her kills, it put Coal Ridge up 14-13 and Roaring Fork called a time out.
Coal Ridge head coach Denise Greene gave her team some good advice during the break.
“I just told them to focus on the pass, square up, set the ball and hit the ball,” Greene said. “Don’t make it too much and just play aggressive.”
After the ball went back-and-forth over the net a few times, Coal Ridge’s Sierra Grove hit the ball over the net and the match was called on a Roaring Fork lifting penalty.
“It was really intense,” Nelson said of game five. “We knew we couldn’t win unless we were aggressive and we did that and I am really proud of us.”
After falling in a close five-game match against Olathe on Friday night, Greene was happy to see her team come out on top.
“To come into five and win is huge and to get that confidence where they know they can do it is great,” Greene said.
Titan Schlegel posted six kills and Needham, Mini Kanakaraj and Moeller each chipped in three. Needham lead the game with five blocks.
Roaring Fork rebounded from Friday night’s three-game loss to Hotchkiss, by creating longer volleys with a lot of hustle and scooping up 12 digs.
Taylor Wagner hit three kills for the Rams while Kali Chestnut and Rebecca Roeber each added two.
“I think we played better today than last night, we just couldn’t finish it,” Daugherty said. “I think we just need to work more on playing as a team.”
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