Volleyball: Coal Ridge overcomes player injury to beat Roaring Fork, 3-0
Post Independent correspondent
With the Coal Ridge Titans leading 5-2 in the first set of Saturday afternoon’s 3A Western Slope League home volleyball match with Roaring Fork, play was abruptly stopped in mid-point and a hush fell over the entire gymnasium.
Fans and players of both teams stood motionless as Titans senior standout middle hitter Taylor Wiescamp lay crumpled on the floor clutching her knee.
After being attended to by medical personnel and helped off the court, Wiescamp was taken to the training room and her Coal Ridge teammates had to regroup and focus on the task at hand without their leader.
The Titans managed to pull together and complete what they had started with a convincing 25-11, 25-16, 25-16 win over the scrappy Rams to open 3A conference play.
In Wiescamp’s absence, sophomore Emma Morgan, junior Peyton Garrison, and seniors Phoebe Young and Brecken Guccini manned the still-potent Coal Ridge front line.
Young popped a hard kill at the Rams and a block by junior Lydia Dye put the Titans up big at 22-9 in the first. Roaring Fork countered with two blocks at the net by seniors Sydney Schramer and Samantha Ferry, but it was too little too late with Coal Ridge easily putting the first set in the bag.
Roaring Fork sophomore Bella Brown and senior Lily Nieslanik scored to give the Rams a short-lived 3-2 lead to open the second set, but with Young keeping Roaring Fork on their heels with hard spikes, the score was soon knotted at 6-all.
Battling hard at the net, but missing the target on several spike attempts, the Rams dug themselves a 23-16 hole. Senior Grace Jardine was just off target with a push shot near the sideline for Roaring Fork, and the Rams now faced a two-set deficit.
Coal Ridge continued its consistent play in all areas of the stat sheet to close out the match. Senior Kallie Bumgardner helped the Titans race out to a quick 9-1 lead in the final set with her timely play at the service line. Nieslanik and Schramer brought the Rams back to a 9-4 count with scores, but Guccini served up a couple of aces and Young drove down a spike to put the Titans up 17-12.
Senior Ari Conejo put in a nice stint at the service line for Coal Ridge, then Dye and Morgan scored to help put the lid on the matinee victory.
“I was proud of how the kids responded today,” said Titans head coach Aimee Gerber. “When your leader goes down, sometimes you buckle up. But they played well and Lydia Dye came in and played great for us.”
Guccini finished with nine kills, four aces, four blocks and 15 digs. Young contributed 11 kills and 17 digs. Dye pitched in with seven kills, five blocks, and two aces. Bumgardner had 14 assists, with Morgan putting together 10 assists and three kills. Garrison helped out with six kills and three blocks.
Wiescamp will undergo an MRI examination on Monday to determine the full extent of her injury.
Coal Ridge (3-1) will be back in action on Tuesday with a trip to Craig to face Moffat County. Roaring Fork (2-2) gets to play at home Wednesday against Battle Mountain.
Steamboat Springs 3, Glenwood Springs 1
Meanwhile, the Glenwood Springs Demons hosted Steamboat Springs Saturday afternoon in the 4A conference opener, falling 3-1 to the Sailors.
The visitors raced to a 25-16 first-set win before the Demons battled to make it close in the second, ultimately relinquishing the second frame 25-21.
Glenwood regrouped to take the third set, 25-22, but it was the Sailors again in the fourth, 25-19, to take the match.
Individual stats were not immediately posted to Maxpreps.com/Colorado. The Demons (1-3, 0-1) continue Western Slope League play Thursday at home versus Palisade.
GJ Central 3, Rifle 1
The Rifle Bears took on the Grand Junction Central Warriors in non-conference volleyball action in Rifle Saturday, falling 3-1.
Rifle came out strong, winning the first set 25-13, followed by a pair of close set losses by respective 25-18 scores in favor of the Warriors. Central claimed the deciding set 25-12. Rifle stats were not posted to Maxpreps.
Rifle (0-3) opens 3A Western Slope League play on the road at Moffat County on Tuesday.
A score also was not posted from Grand Valley’s Saturday home match with Cedaredge.
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