Playing in front of a large crowd at their home gym on Oct. 28, the Dolores High School volleyball team reeled off three consecutive wins en route to the Class 2A District 3 Championship.
Now 21-1 on the season and owners of a 21-game winning streak, Dolores will now face Rangely and Ridgway in a three-team regional tournament on Nov. 4. The winner of the regional tournament will advance to state. Game times have yet to be determined.
Lady Bears blast IgnacioOpening its district tournament against Ignacio (9-14 overall, 7-6 in SJBL), Dolores won several clutch points during the first two games before finding its form in the third game to secure a 25-22, 26-24, 25-15 victory.
Highlighting the win was a balanced offensive attack led by sophomore outside hitter Jordan Elder, who has emerged as one of the top offensive talents Colorado’s 2A classification.
The second-year player’s diverse skill set was especially evident during the match’s first game when she registered two kills and two blocks during a 5-point sequence in which the Lady Bears transformed a 16-18 deficit into a into a 19-18 lead.
With Dolores leading 23-22 later in the first game, junior setter Abby Jones stepped to the line and delivered three consecutive hard serves, punctuated by an ace, to lock up the opening-game victory.
Much like the first game, the second game featured back-and-forth scoring until the end and after Ignacio won four consecutive points to transform a 24-20 deficit into a 24-24 tie, the Lady Bears regrouped and won the game’s final two points thanks to an Ignacio serving error and an ace by Jones.
In the third game, Dolores began firing on all cylinders as seniors Josie Majors, Cameron Elder and Sierra Schwartz scored several points during a 10-point Dolores victory.
“We came together as a team and we focused on what each of us adds to the game,” said Cameron Elder. “When we are able to send a hard hit over every time, it really strengthens our play.”
Lady Bears win a thriller over TellurideRoughly an hour and a half after they defeated Ignacio, Dolores players returned to the court for a match against Telluride (15-8 overall, 8-5 in SJBL) and came away with a dramatic 20-25, 25-16, 17-25, 25-18, 15-7 win.
Impressive hitting and strong defensive plays from both sides brought fans to their feet several times throughout the match, which featured numerous momentum swings and nervous moments. The Lady Bears were able to win the most critical points, which, according to Jordan Elder, has been typical of the team this season.
“Most of our close matches that go to five (games), we always somehow pull them out,” the sophomore said. “We work together and it always works out, so that’s good for our team.”
Lady Bears dominate Ridgway in championshipFacing off against Ridgway (15-7 overall, 10-3 in SJBL) with the district championship on the line, Dolores left little doubt as to its district supremacy during a 25-14, 25-15, 25-11 victory.
The Lady Bears’ dominant victory provided a marked contrast to two previous matches between Dolores and Ridgway this season, which both lasted five games.
With the district championship on the line however, Dolores was by far the more confident team as the Lady Bears started fast and coasted to victory.