The Grand County volleyball team continued its early-season slide, dropping a pair of home matches over the weekend to Gunnison and Dove Creek, putting them on a four-match losing streak heading into their region opener against San Juan, which was scheduled to take place on Tuesday, Sept. 17.
Against Dove Creek on Saturday afternoon, Sept. 14, the Lady Devils dropped the first set 25-22 and played another evenly-matched set in the second, holding a 19-18 lead before unraveling down the stretch and losing the set by the same score of 25-22.
The Red Devils struggled to regain the momentum in the decisive third set as Dove Creek steadily added to its lead throughout the set on its way to a 25-14 victory.
Sophomore Sydney Lema led Grand with 10 kills in the match, followed by junior Kasey Betts with five. Lema and senior Shailee Croasmun each served for six points in the match. Lema, Betts and Croasmun were also three of the five Lady Devils with double-digits in digs as Lema led with 13 and Betts, Croasmun, senior Tiffanie Whipple and junior Brook Schultz had 10. Betts also had seven total blocks for Grand.
Against Gunnison on Friday night, Sept. 13, the Lady Devils yielded the Bulldogs an easy 25-15 win in the first set before staking claim to the lead with 25-19 and 25-20 wins in the second and third sets. The Bulldogs won the fourth set 25-18 and squeaked by in the decisive fifth set 15-13. Individual statistics for the game were unavailable as of Sunday night, Sept. 15.
Lady Devil volleyball coach Deb Hren said she believes despite the four-match losing streak that Grand is still the same team it was when it finished first in the platinum consolation bracket and ninth overall out of 28 teams in the season-opening Dixie High Fly Tournament.
“Overall we did well against Gunnison and just lost focus a little bit in the fifth set,” she said. “Monticello always brings a good match and we knew Gunnison was going to be tough.”
Hren said the Lady Devils haven’t been able to get anything going during their losing streak, but the talent is there for them to compete in region play if they’re able to put it together.
“Volleyball is a game of up and down momentum,” she said. “If we’re firing on all cylinders, we can take region.”
Hren said no one’s position is ever locked in on the team and the coaching staff makes adjustments and runs weakness-related drills in practice each week to help the Lady Devils improve and shore up holes. They’ll have a chance to show their improvements and build some momentum this weekend as they’re scheduled to play host in a Region 15 matchup against Wasatch Academy on Saturday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m.