There is no silver lining to Tuesday's loss for the Soroco High School volleyball team.
The Rams appeared to have their pigtail match against Plateau Valley in hand after winning the first two games. But the third game slipped out of the Rams' reach, and they also fell in the fourth and fifth games, their errors contributing to the eventual defeat.
As a result, Plateau Valley punched its ticket to the district tournament Friday and Saturday in Paonia, winning, 19-25, 22-25, 29-27, 25-20, 15-6.
The loss ended Soroco's season.
"It's a bummer. I'm disappointed, very disappointed," Rams coach Kim Reeves said. "I definitely thought we'd be able to do it, and we weren't able to. I'm disappointed."
Initially, it looked as if Soroco would swarm into the district tournament with momentum on its side. The Rams cruised through the first game and overcame a 10-2 deficit in the second.
But after taking an early lead in the third game, at 18-12, Soroco's struggles began. Plateau Valley fought back to take a 24-23 lead. The Rams thwarted off three game points to stay alive, and Soroco even took a 27-26 lead and had a chance to end the match. But a service error gave Plateau Valley another shot. A kill and an error later, and the comeback had begun.
In the fourth game, the Cowboys jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. The Rams closed within 23-19 late in the match but weren't able to close the gap.
"Too many mental errors," Reeves said. "I didn't think they were over-confident after the first two games. I don't know. We just couldn't pull it out this time."
But the fifth and deciding game, the momentum clearly had shifted. Plateau Valley seemingly got to every ball while Soroco couldn't find its rhythm from the first two games.
Of the 15 points the Cowboys scored in the fifth game, eight of them came on Soroco hitting or passing errors.
"It's definitely a rollercoaster in volleyball," Reeves said. "You're either up or you're down. There is rarely a middle ground. Obviously, at the end, we weren't on."
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