Kremmling " Mustangs end volleyball season at regionals |

Kremmling " Mustangs end volleyball season at regionals

Larry Banman
Sky-Hi Daily News
Kremmling, Colorado

Kremmling ” The West Grand High School volleyball team dropped its first match of the regional tournament this past Saturday to Meeker and was faced with a must-win situation against the Mancos Bluejays. At stake was a chance to qualify for the state tournament to be played this weekend in Denver.

Unfortunately for the Lady Mustangs, the five-game match went in favor of Mancos and West Grand had been eliminated, one step short of every high school players’ dream. The Mustangs did come back strongly in the next match and defeated Rangely in three games. The Panthers had already clinched a spot in the state tournament and the Mustangs knew they had already been eliminated.

In somewhat of a surprise, the two teams from the regional to qualify for the tournament were Rangely and Mancos. In the final match of the day, Meeker and Mancos played to determine which team would advance to state. In a five-set match, Mancos held on to win in the final game, 15-13. Mancos was the only qualifier from its district tournament and Meeker had been the top-ranked qualifier from West Grand’s district. The Mustangs had defeated Rangely at districts and the Panthers from Rangely were the last team to qualify.

Coach Laura Gore said the Mancos Bluejays were a deceptive team this past weekend. They didn’t have a player that stood out as outstanding, but they were very consistent, Gore said. “They just never went away,” she added.

The day started for West Grand with a 10 a.m. contest against Meeker. The Cowboys had won the season-matchup against West Grand, but the Mustangs had upset Meeker in the district tournament to propel themselves into the regional tournament.

The matchup between the two Western Slope teams was a battle, Gore said, and went to five games. The final game went into overtime, and the Cowboys notched a 16-14 game victory, which gave them the match. The score of the match was 21-25, 25-12, 22-25, 25-22, 16-14 in favor of Meeker.

“The match went back and forth with both teams playing well,” Gore said. “I thought we played some of our best volleyball of the season. We just came up a little bit short.”

In the matchup against Mancos, the Mustangs were victimized by too many unforced errors, Gore said. West Grand had 14 unforced errors in the first game, including seven missed serves. It was just too much for the team to overcome. The match went five games, Gore said, but the Mustangs could never get the upperhand on the team from southwest Colorado.

The Rangely game was won by West Grand, 25-22, 25-23, 25-23.

“The girls knew they had been eliminated and they still played extremely hard and extremely well,” Gore said. “I was very proud of them.”

Coach Gore noted that junior Brook Cecil really elevated her game at the regional tournament and was solid in all phases of the game. Gore again praised her seniors for their leadership throughout the year as well as this past weekend. “It is always hardest to see seniors end their careers,” Gore noted. “This group really ended their high school volleyball career with class.”

Gore wanted to express her thanks to her coaching staff of Susan Billington, Cheryl Brown and Kelly Farrell.

Rounding out the state playoff bracket in Class 2A this season are Fowler (23-3), Colorado Springs School (25-1), Sangre de Cristo (20-5), Burlington (23-2), Wray (16-9), Resurrection Christian (21-5), Mancos (18-4) and Rangely (18-9).

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