Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Missy Chotvacs remembers Moffat County dominating her Steamboat Springs teams in middle school.
As a senior, Chotvacs can't remember losing to the Bulldogs while in high school. The trend continued Tuesday with a 25-16, 16-25, 25-23, 25-16 win in Steamboat.
But that doesn't mean the Sailors were entirely happy with the way they played.
"I think they looked like they had a little doubt," Steamboat coach Wendy Hall said about the Sailors. "They looked a little lethargic at times."
Steamboat (3-1 overall, 2-1 in league) and Moffat County (3-3, 1-2) are using a mix of seniors and sophomores in the starting lineup this year, and senior Liz Johnson said Steamboat's underclassmen are beginning to grasp the difference between junior varsity and varsity.
"They are growing up," she said.
On Tuesday, sophomore Katy Gary led hitters with 26 kills and just five errors, mixing it up between tips and powerful attacks. Sophomore Lisa Floyd added six kills, and sophomore Heidi Lord had two solo blocks for the Sailors.
But it was Chotvacs who made the defensive play of the match for either squad.
After Steamboat handily won the first game and Moffat County easily won the second, the two teams were even through most of the third. The Sailors held a 14-8 advantage after an ace from Gary. A kill from senior Mari Katherine Raftopoulos and several aces from senior Brenna Conci helped pull the Bulldogs back into the game at 14-14.
The teams exchanged the lead four times and found themselves tied at 23-23, when Chotvacs dug a ball out from the net, which led to senior Hestia Chase's kill.
Senior Liz Johnson served the final point for the Sailors, giving them the pivotal win in the third game. Steamboat won the final game easily.
When complimented on her diving save, Chotvacs smiled a bit, shrugged her shoulders and said "Thanks," but her coach wasn't as shy about the way Chotvacs played Tuesday.
"Every time she touched the ball, I really thought she controlled it," Hall said. "She was fabulous in the back row."
Moffat County, on the flipside, is known for its defensive play, and the Bulldogs did a great job sustaining rallies with timely digs and winning points with their blocks.
Raftopoulos, who led the Bulldogs with 14 kills, also had five solo blocks.
"We read the hitters really well," Raftopoulos said. "We work on blocking a lot."
Sophomore Angie Charchalis had five kills for the Bulldogs, and senior April Sanchez and Conci each had three kills.
Up next for Steamboat is a match at 6:30 p.m. Friday against Palisade and matches against Fruita and Delta on Saturday. The Palisade and Delta matches are league contests.
-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley, call 871-4208 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org