Titans hang on for volleyball win over Grand Valley
Post Independent correspondent
The Coal Ridge Titans managed to hold off a determined Grand Valley Cardinals team by set scores of 25-18, 24-26, 25-14, and 25-17 to get a key 3A Western Slope League win at Peach Valley on Thursday night.
Both teams came into the match riding, or saddled with, different two-game streaks. The Cardinals were hoping to put together their third straight win, while the Titans were intent on getting back into the win column after consecutive losses to Delta and Montrose.
The first two sets of the match were played with each team taking slim leads, only to have 16-all ties become the common denominator in both. Senior outside hitter Phoebe Young was a key component at the net for Coal Ridge, with timely kills to help give her team an initial 6-3 lead.
Following a timeout by Grand Valley coach Dave Walck, the Cardinals came storming back to take a lead of 7-6 with sophomore Linkin McCormick putting in a solid stint at the service line.
It was then Coal Ridge coach Aimee Gerber who was forced to call a timeout as she watched her team fall behind 15-11. The topsy-turvy first set took a turn the Titans way as Young and fellow senior Brecken Guccini asserted themselves at the net, and sophomore Emma Morgan served the Titans to the set number one win.
Junior Peyton Garrison for the Titans and senior Alex Mendoza for the Cardinals took turns giving their team the lead with yeoman work at the service line in set two. Senior Emma Whiting had a leaping block at the net for Grand Valley, helping the Cardinals inch out to a lead late in the set. Coal Ridge managed to battle back from a 24-21 deficit to tie things up at 24, but the Cardinals were able to hold on for their only set win of the night.
Grand Valley junior Katie Ray kept the Cardinals in the hunt with her consistent serves and play at the net, but the set number two loss seemed to awaken the Titans from a mild slumber.
In the closing sets, Young, Guccini, Garrison, Lydia Dye, Isabella Rodriguez, Ari Cornejo, and senior Kallie Bumgardner put in solid play as the Titans regained momentum of the match and never let it slip away.
“We’re still a work in progress with some of the personnel changes we’ve had to make with Taylor (Wiescamp) out,” said coach Gerber. “Most all of the kids are doing a good job being leaders. We just need to learn to fight through the tough times, not get down on ourselves, and try to stay consistent.”
Statistic leaders for Coal Ridge were Young with 25 kills, and 34 digs. Guccini had 20 digs and 10 kills. Morgan chipped in with 28 assists, five kills and three blocks. Cornejo had 27 digs and two aces. Bumgardner helped out with 13 assists and eight digs.
Coal Ridge (5-3, 3-1 WSL) will be on the road Saturday to take on Gunnison, while Grand Valley (2-4, 1-2 WSL) will do a quick turnaround, traveling to Aspen Friday night to take on the Skiers. Both matches are conference affairs.
In other 3A volleyball action Thursday night, Roaring Fork fell in three straight sets at Basalt (25-18, 25-18, 25-18). The Rams drop to 3-5 overall and 1-2 in league. Next up are back-to-back home games for Roaring Fork: Rifle at 6:30 p.m. Friday; and Cedaredge at 1 p.m. Saturday.
And, in boys soccer action, it was Roaring Fork 5, Basalt 1 at Carbondale on senior night. Coal Ridge hosted Moffat County. A score was not available before 10 p.m. Thursday.
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