Thanks to a plethora of aces and standout defensive plays from nearly every player on its roster, the Dolores High School volleyball team coasted past Ignacio, 25-20, 25-16, 25-21, at home on Oct. 10.
With the victory, the Lady Bears improved their overall record to 14-1, stretched their winning streak to 14 games, and further cemented their status as the San Juan Basin League’s finest team with an 11-0 league record.
“We’re hoping to keep our undefeated league season going and we’re hoping to go to state,” said standout Dolores sophomore Jordan Elder. “The Colorado state tournament is our ultimate goal.”
Among the keys to the Lady Bears’ victory was consistently strong serving by numerous players, including Tatum Majors and Sierra Schwartz. As a team, the Lady Bears recorded 11 total aces, including two by Tatum Majors during an 8-0 run in the first game that allowed the Lady Bears to stretch their lead from 14-12 to 20-12 before eventually closing out the game.
“Overall, our serving this season has been better than it has in previous years,” Schwartz said. “We have a lot of players ranked at the top of the state in aces, and we’re getting good at placing the ball.”
Beginning the second game confidence, Dolores jumped out to a 9-1 lead behind several strong serves from Tatum Majors, a cross-court kill by Josie Majors and a hard spike by Elder. The Lady Bears’ onslaught continued later in the second game when a 6-0 run with Cameron Schafer serving stretched the Dolores lead to 20-10.
Clearly frustrated by their inability to score against Dolores’ defense, Ignacio players turned to their head coach, Thaddeus Cano, on several occasions, but his advice was to no avail as the Lady Bears pulled away for a 25-16 game-two victory.
Although passing mistakes early in the third game put Dolores behind 0-4, the Lady Bears regained their composure and eventually won the game by scoring five straight points after a questionable carry call by officials put them behind 20-21. “There are always those bad calls, and we just have to work through them,” said Elder. “(Bad calls) make us want to go even harder and get the point back.”
Dolores was led offensively by Elder and Tatum Majors, who each registered give kills. Sydney Smith and Elder led the Lady Bears in blocks with two each, and Schwartz led the team in digs with nine.
Despite her team’s seemingly comfortable win however, Schwartz was not altogether pleased with her team’s performance, terming it one of the worst of the season. “Tonight was one of our rougher matches,” the senior said. “We got the win though, so I guess that’s all that matters.”
With four games remaining in its regular season, Dolores will play road games against Dove Creek and Ridgway on Oct. 12 and Oct. 14, respectively, before returning home for its final two regular season matches of the season.