Last season, the Mancos High School volleyball team lost to Telluride twice in the regular season and once in the district tournament.
This season however, the season's first matchup between the San Juan League foes ended far differently as the Bluejays won in four sets, 23-25, 25-17, 25-5, 25-23, on Sept. 9.
Playing at home for the second time this season, the Bluejays got off to a rough start, falling behind 6-0.
The Bluejays scored then their first point of the match on a cross-court kill by Kaylee Rose, but the team continued to struggle in route to a 19-6 deficit.
"We just weren't talking, and we didn't have the intensity," said Mancos junior Taryn Gordanier.
Suddenly finding their stride, the Bluejays battled back, using a 12-1 run to cut Telluride's lead to 20-18.
The Bluejays then pulled even closer, cutting Telluride's lead to 24-23, before a serving error by Mancos's Courtney Colyer ended the set.
Despite her team's opening-set loss, Mancos head coach Brittney Lang remained upbeat.
"It's important for them to be losing and come back with such power," said Lang. "I think it's really important for us to know that we can be losing and have enough fight to keep going and not give up."
Bolstered by their resurgence in the first set, the Bluejays came out on fire to begin the second, pulling ahead 4-0 after a kill by Gordanier and an ace by Jessica Gutierrez.
Mancos eventually extended its second-set lead to 18-10 after another kill by Gordanier before securing the set victory on a spike down the line by Colyer.
With each team holding a set victory entering the third set, the Bluejays played some of their finest volleyball of the season, pulling ahead 8-0 of strong serving by Taylor Goff.
Three more aces by Goff later in the set allowed Mancos to extend its lead to 15-1 and after the match, the senior talked about her strong serving performance.
"Taking my time and watching the ball is key to all of it," said Goff. "I try to stay focused and hit the ball hard."
After winning the third set 25-5 after a hard kill by Colyer, Mancos and Telluride battled throughout the fourth set before Telluride opened up a 17-13 lead.
Intent on preventing a fifth set however, the Bluejays battled back, tying the score 18-18 on a tip by Colyer. Mancos then pulled ahead 24-22 on a cross-court kill by Morgan Lincoln before winning the set 25-23 on a kill by Colyer.
After Mancos players celebrated near midcourt, Gordanier spoke about the significance of the Bluejays win.
"It feels really good, especially since (Telluride) beat us at Districts last year," said the junior. "We played really good.much better than we did last year."
Colyer led the Bluejays in kills with 10, Lincoln finished with nine kills and Gordanier had seven. Jessica Willburn led the team in digs with 19, Goff paced the team in aces with six, and Gutierrez registered a team-high 29 assists.
Two days after defeating Telluride, the Bluejays travelled to Ignacio for a Sept. 11 matchup against the Bobcats and performed well, winning 25-18, 25-20, 25-21.
The Bluejays closed out their week on Sept. 12 at home against Norwood, losing 25-16, 25-29, 20-25, 25-19.