After a win against Shiprock Northwest on Tuesday and a loss to Newcomb on Friday, the Mancos volleyball team entered its home contest on Saturday against undefeated Ridgway (3-0) with a 1-2 record.
The Blue Jays, who were without senior setter Jessica Gutierrez, struggled early.
After jumping out to a quick 7-0 lead, Ridgway took advantage of Mancos' errors to win game one 25-8.
Senior Taryn Gordanier got the Blue Jays out to a better start in game two, scoring the game's first point with a spike, and junior Nicole Hess added some flair with a sneaky tip-shot to give Mancos an early 2-1 lead.
But Ridgway dropped in a flurry of aces and controlled the rest of the game on the way to a 25-14 victory.
The Blue Jays again trailed early in the day's third game, and Ridgway senior Kaitlyn Rutherford powered the Demons to a 25-13 win to clinch the match in three straight sets.
Rutherford finished the day with 10 kills, and the Blue Jays were led by Gordanier's six kills.
Mancos missed the play of senior Jessica Gutierrez, with head coach Brittany Lang saying that her absence affected the team, "As much as one can be affected."
Shuffling the roster to compensate for her absence, Hess was moved to setter and freshman Mackenzie Benitez was pulled up to the varsity squad.
"She had never played in a varsity game in her entire life," Lang said of Benitez. "She was really nervous, but I think that with pulling stuff together the way we did, we played pretty well."
Hess filled in valiantly at setter, finishing with eight assists, and Benitez made the most of her varsity debut, recording three aces.
Lang acknowledged the high number of errors her team committed, but she expects the young team to clean up its mistakes as the season progresses.
"Errors will diminish as the year goes on," she said. "We're still a really, really young team, and today we only had two returning varsity players from last year."
Dropping their first conference game to Ridgway, the Blue Jays fall to 1-3, but they envision a closer matchup in their next conference game at Telluride on Tuesday at 4:00 p.m.