The Dolores volleyball team came out rusty against the Mancos Blue Jays on Tuesday evening.
Dolores gifted Mancos a free point before the game started by turning in an incorrect lineup sheet, and then Mancos junior Nicole Hess served the Blue Jays to an early 7-0 lead before Dolores head coach Gina Hollen called timeout.
"Just to try to get them to refocus, to move on," Hollen said of the early timeout. "Don't worry about what we just did, let's focus on: The ball is coming to me, what am I going to do with it."
Some of the Bears' early missteps may have stemmed from jitters, but they could have just been out of rhythm after not having a game for nearly two weeks.
"It probably did," Hollen said when asked if the time off had any impact. "Because we've just had a week straight of practices and not having that competition."
Dolores went on a 4-0 run after the timeout, but Mancos rode its early lead to a 25-19 win in game one.
Senior Larissa Umberger and sophomore Cameron Elder jump-started the Bears in game two with back-to-back spikes, and sophomore southpaw Josie Majors kept Mancos defenders guessing by sprinkling in off-speed hits. The young Dolores team got clicking in its second contest and took the game 25-19.
After finding their footing in game two, the Bears commanded games three and four to easy wins.
In the third contest, Umberger went on a 9-0 serve streak. Elder and freshmen Aryelle Wright and Tatum Majors contributed to the run with spikes, and sisters Josie and Tatum Majors came up with big blocks at the net, leading to a 25-11 victory.
Tatum Majors put her stamp on the fourth game.
"She's a pretty consistent passer," Hollen said of Majors. "And then you saw the serves, she's consistent in that regard."
Majors began serving with Dolores trailing 3-4, and she continued serving until the score was 16-5 in favor of the Bears.
After her 13-point run - and a handful of Mancos errors - Majors closed out the game with a spike to give Dolores a 25-9 win, taking the match three games to one.
Hollen explained how Umberger's run in game three and Majors' streak in game four turn the game in Dolores' favor.
"It just keeps the momentum and the energy level on our side, forcing the other team to make mistakes," she said.
After dropping game one, the Bears seemed to find their groove, winning the next three to improve their season record to 4-1.
They will look to carry their momentum into their next matchup, on Thursday, Sept. 24 at Norwood at 4 p.m.