Playing its eighth game of the season against Ridgway on April 13, the Mancos High School girls volleyball team found itself on the wrong side of a 25-14, 26-24, 25-19 final score.
In spite of their three-set loss however, Lady Jays’ players honed in on their team’s inspired play during a hotly contested second set in hopes that the team’s long run of solid points will help build momentum moving forward.
“I think the second game, we knew we could bring it and our intensity raised a little bit more,” freshman Teya Yeomans said. “We played a little bit smarter, and we were more ready for that game. I think we know that every day we’re getting better and we have the potential. We just have to finish it.”
While Mancos’ play during the second set was some of its finest of the season, the team’s play during the opening set was somewhat disjointed and at times disorganized as Ridgway jumped out to a 6-1 lead and later found itself ahead 11-4.
Although a huge kill by Yeomans that fell just inside the back line brought the crowd to its feet and cut Ridgway’s lead to 16-9, the Lady Jays were unable to maintain momentum after the big play and eventually lost the set by nine points after a kill by Ridgway’s Emily Medina.
Seemingly flustered by their opening set difficulties, Mancos fell behind 10-2 to begin the second set after a handful of hitting errors miscommunications between defenders that several allowed Ridgway kill attempts to fall to the ground untouched.
The Lady Jays eventually regained their composure however, and after a great touch shot by senior Tia Imel that fell just inside the back line, followed by a kill by sophomore Jessie Wallace and a tip by freshman Haylie Higgins, Ridgway’s lead was cut to 13-7.
Mancos maintained its momentum and eventually pulled ahead 24-23 after a Ridgway hitting error, but three straight points by the Demons after a timeout stymied the Lady Jays attempt to square the match at one set a piece.
“We were hyped up a lot more and we were more excited every time that we got a point,” said Imel of her team’s strong second set. “We just kept pushing on each point, one by one, until we got up there.”
While the Lady Jays hopes for a comeback were quickly dashed in the third set when Ridgway pulled ahead 14-4 and eventually hung on for a six point victory, several nice digs by Mancos defenders elicited cheers from a large contingency of students in the home crowd.
“I think our defense is great in the back row,” Imel said. “We just have to work a lot more on defending tips.”
With its overall record at 1-8 on the year, the Lady Jays will look ahead to a road matchup against Ouray on April 16 before returning home to play against Ignacio in the final regular season match of the season.
“We want to get more wins the rest of our season,” Imel said. “We’re a new team, we’re never played with each other, and a lot of our players are young. I just want the last bit of our season to have a couple more wins.”