Last Saturday’s District games showcased Telluride’s strength as the top-ranked team in the San Juan Basin League, as they skillfully defeated both Ridgway and Ignacio. Yet stiff competition from second-ranked Mancos also gave the Miners a lesson in diligence, with the Ladies succumbing to only their second loss of the season.
“We were not necessarily outplayed, as we made mistake after mistake,” said THS volleyball coach Fawnda Rogers.
Rogers attributed the team’s competency against Ignacio and Ridgway to levelheaded playing from Mallory Bosse, whose consistent serving and defensive fortitude served as a source of strength for Telluride. In addition, Libero Sarah Wontrobski consistently read the offense of both opposing teams and picked up their attacks and tips very effectively, while Scout Franklin turned on the heat in her hitting, Rogers said. Offensively, Emily Langley provided consistence in scoring points thanks to skillful shot selection and aggressive spikes. Her jump serves scored key points in both matches and she effectively got in the heads of the opponents, Rogers noted. Meanwhile, Emy Ludwig, Telluride’s setter, was able to score points through good serving, accurate setting, and hard hitting. Genevieve Matamoros added blocking to Telluride’s recipe for success.
Rogers also gave credit to the team’s substitute players, who played a strong straight off the bench, making a difference for their team.
“It takes composure and a lack of ego. Our bench know what their individual roles are, and they are very willing to do the job assigned,” she said, giving kudos to players Carson Brumley, Ryan Niebruegge, Mikaela Balkind
While the Ignacio and Ridgway victories gave Telluride a chance to put into practice the components that have lead them to the top this season, the Mancos match was a different story.
“The team just couldn’t get any momentum and drive into their offense. We were often found on our heels … and flat on offense with little blocking or aggressive hitting. Our mistakes during that match are what allowed Mancos to get the edge and win,” Rogers said.
She could see a silver lining in the weekend loss, however. “Honestly though, I'd rather loose this weekend and work on our weak points than not see the weaknesses and go to Regionals unprepared,” she explained.
Both Mancos and Telluride will be going to the Regional tournament this weekend in Palisade, giving the Miners a chance at a rematch against the Bluejays. Meeker and Rangely will also be vying for a berth to the State Tournament, slated for Nov. 11-12 in Denver.
“The outlook for the regional tournament looks good for Telluride if each girl on the team does the job they have been given this week,” Rogers said. “We are asking that the girls step up their performance, as this is the time we expect that all they have been working on to come together. This is when we want them to peak.”