After Mancos High School volleyball coach Brittany Lang paid tribute to her team’s seniors, Morgan Rose and Ericka Peacock, before a match against Dolores High School on Oct. 23, Mancos played some of its finest points of the season.
The Lady Jays inspired play was not enough to take down the Lady Bears, however, who relied on a multifaceted attack to defeat their longtime by a score of 26-24, 25-15, 25-21. Dolores improved to 13-3 overall and 11-1 in the San Juan Basin League with the win, while Mancos fell to 8-10 overall and 7-6 in the SJBL after the loss.
Among the highlights of the match were a multitude of competitive points and long rallies during an opening game that featured Mancos stars Rose and Magdalena Halls doing their best to outhit Dolores junior Jordan Elder.
At times during the first 20 points of the match, it was impossible to distinguish a clear advantage for either side as the Lady Jays pulled ahead 4-3 after Rose blocked Tatum Majors and the Lady Bears later tied the match 10-10 after a kill by Elder.
After Dolores eventually built a 21-14 lead behind five consecutive hard serves by Elder, Mancos roared back and forced a Dolores timeout after Halls pounded one of her hardest kills of the season into the open court.
A kill by Isis Jaime later in the game put Mancos ahead 24-23, yet the Lady Jays were unable to win another point as Dolores won the final three points to claim a 26-24 victory in the match’s opening game.
Seemingly motivated by their opening game victory, Dolores came out on fire in the second game and dominated from start to finish en route to a 25-15 victory. Among the highlights of the game were several hard kills by Majors and a handful of timely tips by senior setter Abby Jones.
Although a heartfelt speech by Lang to her team before the third game raised Mancos’ spirits, Dolores’ talent and hitting ability proved to be too much for the Lady Jays to overcome as the Lady Bears won the match’s final game by four points.
Among the statistical leaders for Dolores was Elder, who hammered down 13 kills and was credited with a team-best 12 digs. Sophomore Sydney Smith led the Lady Bears in serving with three aces, and Jones had a team-high 26 assists.
The Lady Jays offense was led by Halls, who had 13 kills. Rose had nine kills, four aces and two blocks for Mancos, and Peacock was credited with a team-best 10 digs. Emmalee Asnicar led the Lady Jays with 29 assists.
With the end of their regular seasons quickly approaching, the Lady Bears and the Lady Jays will make final adjustments before the start of the postseason when both teams play three games at the Gunnison Tournament on Oct. 27.