Basalt High volleyball loses five-set thriller Tuesday at Moffat County | AspenTimes.com

Basalt High volleyball loses five-set thriller Tuesday at Moffat County

Andy Bockelman
Craig Press

CRAIG — Apart from being in the same conference, Moffat County High School volleyball had no beef with the Basalt Longhorns, but that didn't stop the Bulldogs from overtaking the visitors in their first glimpse of the 3A Western Slope League.

An early season that has already seen its share of close matches went to the brink Tuesday as MCHS earned a 3-2 win against Basalt, capped off by a tense 15-13 fifth set where athletes on both ends of the court kept their concentration laser-like and their volleys lengthy.

Despite a good night at the net for the Longhorns, the pace of the game was one coach David Chadbourne admitted his players could not control.

"The girls get in a good rhythm, but they have a hard time staying in it," he said.

Moffat started the night with a 25-14 set that began with an 8-3 lead before Chadbourne called a timeout. The Bulldogs slowed their dominance from there but didn't exactly stop with the opening win.

However, once teams switched sides, Basalt was able to keep it neck-and-neck in the second set, keeping it tied at 11 junctures before finishing it, 25-23.

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The Bulldogs took some time to respond in the third, but went on an eight-point run that put them ahead 15-7 before the stubborn Longhorns caught up slowly but surely at the 20-18 mark as coach Jessica Profumo called her players to the sideline to strategize.

The middle might have gone either way as the Longhorns set up at the line trailing 24-23, but a bad serve gave it to the home team.

It was in the fourth that Basalt caught a spark, getting Moffat County frazzled late in the set to claim the last seven points for the 25-16 victory.

Taking it to the fifth set — the second time already this year for MCHS — showed either side's determination as the momentum shifted back and forth. The Bulldogs reached game point at 14-11 as Jenna Timmer claimed her ninth kill of the night, only for Basalt to catch a break with a faulty serve and a successful tip by Gabby Narby to make it 14-13.

The frenzied volley that followed finally ended with a backward bump by Moffat County's Jaidyn Steele that the Longhorns couldn't get back in motion.

"That ebb and flow is all part of being such a young team. It's going to be a matter of them stepping up and finding their confidence," Chadbourne said.

Moffat County improves to 4-4 overall, while the Longhorns fell to 2-3. The two teams will meet again on Oct. 6 in Basalt.

abockelman@craigdailypress.com