WG netters split games in weekend action
Kremmling, CO Colorado
The West Grand volleyball team fought its way to a split of weekend games.
In the first home match of the season against Soroco, the Mustangs lost in four games. West Grand then traveled to Vail Mountain on Saturday, Sept. 11, and found itself down 2-0 and facing a long bus ride home. The Mustangs, however, found out something about themselves and rallied to win the final three games to take the match and improve their season record to 2-4.
Winning on the road against last year’s top league team after falling behind in games is something that coach Holli Palmer believes her young squad can build upon.
Palmer said she is excited about the way the Mustangs are rounding into form and developing into a competitive unit. That competition starts in practice, she said, where she asks the girls to compete hard every day.
She noted that her senior player, Taylor Pesch, is providing strong senior leadership.
“She works hard, she pushes herself and she exemplifies everything I want to see in a leader,” Palmer added.
The C-team and junior varsity teams are playing very well, Palmer added, and building on what they learn in practice.
The C-team is comprised entirely of freshman players and that team won both of its matches this weekend in two games.
“It is exciting to see their progress,” Palmer noted. The C-team is coached by Nellie Thomson.
The Mustangs have lower numbers this season and the junior varsity is basically a mix of freshman and varsity players, Palmer said. Cheryl Brown coaches that group, which defeated Soroco this weekend and lost to Vail Mountain.
“Cheryl (Brown) and Nellie (Thomson) do an outstanding job by bringing a positive attitude to practice,” Palmer said. “I am really glad to have their help with this squad.”
Young WG net squad features aggressive play
The high school volleyball season traditionally hits the ground running with preseason scrimmages and tournament. The West Grand Lady Mustangs have already played in a scrimmage at Steamboat Springs and a tournament in Glenwood Springs the weekend of Sept. 4.
The season-opening tournament in Glenwood featured a number of schools that are in higher classifications that West Grand. In four games played this past Friday and Saturday, West Grand faced Class 1A Nucla, Class 2A Meeker and Denver Christian and Class 4A Glenwood Springs. The Mustangs were able to defeat Nucla and competed well but fell to Meeker, Denver Christian and Glenwood Springs.
First-year coach Holli Palmer has a young and inexperienced squad. Last year’s squad featured five senior starters plus two key role players. Taylor Pesch is the only senior coach Palmer has competing on this year’s team. Serving as assistant coaches for the West Grand Mustangs are Holli Palmer and Nellie Thomson.
Experience may be lacking at the moment for the Lady Mustangs, but Palmer said the players have more than made up for it with hustle, desire, competitiveness and positive attitudes. As the play continued at the tournament, Palmer said the girls continued to improve and were competing with the larger schools.
“It was exciting watch the development,” Palmer said. “It was such a great opportunity for us to be able to compete in this tournament.”
The team served well in the first tournament, putting in more than 90 percent of its serves. At this point of the season, she noted, the serving game is where the Mustangs are generating a lot of their points. In the Glenwood Springs game in particular, Palmer added, the opponent was often on its heels trying to react to the Mustang service game.
While the varsity competed in Glenwood Springs, the JV/C-team hosted a tournament on Saturday. The Lady Mustangs defeated Lake County and Summit County while losing to North Park and Steamboat Springs.
Coach Palmer said the younger squad played well in that tournament, displaying the same competitiveness and aggressive play that marked the play of the varsity team.
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West Grand seniors Rene Dominguez, right, and Angel Dominguez pass the baton during one of the nighttime relays at the 2021 Joe Shields Invitational at WGHS.