TELLURIDE – The nine seniors on the Telluride High School volleyball team celebrated their last home game of the season, and their careers, in style by posting a win over the Ouray Trojans on Tuesday night. Telluride’s varsity squad won in three of four games, winning the first two 25-19 and 25-14; losing the third 16-25; but battling back in the fourth to taste victory 25-15.
The evening, dubbed Senior and Parent Appreciation Night, commemorated the team’s exiting seniors as well as all the Miner fans, volunteers and coaches.
THS’s head volleyball coach Fawnda Rogers said that although emotions ran high in the Minerdome on Tuesday, the girls performed well under the pressure.
“They were sad to realize that this would be their final home game, yet that knowledge gave them the push to win for themselves and their fans,” Rogers said.
Senior Evan Tueller said the emotions of the evening made the win that much more meaningful. “I’ve been playing volleyball with all these girls since seventh grade, so it was sad to know that it was our last home game together,” she said, adding that she and her teammates felt elated at being able to win at their final Telluride outing.
The game highlighted solid performances from some of the team’s substitute players, including senior Alexis Cruzzavalla, who delivered some smoking serves, as well as senior Lindsey Bosse on offense.
Rogers said of her senior-heavy varsity squad, “They are motivated by their passion for the game and their love for each other, and of course the drive to help the team be the best that it can be, even if it means that they might not play in a game. All of the girls work hard, starters and non-starters alike.”
Although the team suffered a setback in game three, the Miners rallied the troops in game four to secure the victory and post a much-desired win to their home court record.
“The senior aspect of the night can be emotional,” said Rogers. “I have been coaching the seniors for four years and knowing that this is the last home game is sad. They are an extraordinarily talented group of young women, athletically and academically… saying goodbye to this group will be difficult.”
The junior varsity team also posted a win at their final home game of the season on Tuesday, beating the Trojans in two of three games. A fierce rally emerged in the first game, in which the Miners and the Trojans continually traded the lead, with the Trojans ultimately on top 34-32.
“The first game was a battle back and forth between the two teams. It came down to serving and we missed our serves at key moments,” said JV coach Rhea DePagter.
The Miners returned in games two and three with renewed poise, and were able to pull off the win beating Ouray 25-17 and 15-10.
“The girls came out in the second and third games focused and composed. It shows this team has a lot of heart and character to step in and win the second and third games after losing the first. It was a great match for our last home game of the season,” DePagter said.
Both teams travel to Dolores this Friday, Oct. 17, and then to Ignacio on Saturday, Oct. 18. The varsity team will then have a week of practice before the District Tournament, which will be held in Ignacio on Oct. 25.
Despite the tough competition ahead, Tueller said Tuesday night’s win helped fuel her team’s drive to end the season on a strong note. “We’re feeling in synch; all the players have flow together. I think the last home game win really helped with that,” she said.