Basalt volleyball ends season with loss to Rifle |

Basalt volleyball ends season with loss to Rifle

A trio of Basalt volleyball players go up for a block against Rifle on Tuesday in the season finale. The Longhorns lost, 3-1.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times |

There, for a time, it felt like a fifth set was going to be needed yet again Tuesday between the Basalt High School volleyball team and visiting Rifle.

However, the Bears found the push the Longhorns couldn’t, pulling out a 3-1 win inside the BHS gymnasium. It was Rifle’s third win — the first two coming in five sets — in the span of 11 days against Basalt.

A late addition to the schedule to get Basalt to 20 games on the season, Tuesday’s game started terribly for the home team. The Longhorns trailed 7-1 but did rally to take a 15-14 lead, only to watch the comeback fall flat in a 25-19 set loss.

Leading 9-5 in the second set, Basalt did the opposite, allowing Rifle to storm back and take a commanding 23-18 lead. The Longhorns put together an improbable rally from there, fighting from behind to escape with a 27-25 win in the second set.

The third set was neck and neck all the way through, until Rifle scored five of the final seven points to win 25-21.

Needing to win the fourth set to extend the match, Basalt led by three points early but couldn’t sustain that momentum. Neither team had more than a two-point lead from 7-5 Basalt until Rifle led 19-16. No heroic rally came like in the second set for Basalt, with Rifle finishing the match with a 25-20 win in the fourth set.

The loss ends Basalt’s regular season at 5-15 overall. The five wins are the most by a Longhorn team since going 6-13 in 2011, according to MaxPreps. Basalt only won a single match in 2015.

Rifle improved to 6-16 overall, with one match remaining.