TELLURIDE – Telluride’s Lady Miners faced uncompromising competition over the weekend, falling to a strong Mancos squad at home on Friday. They were unable to shake off the ill-fated inertia leftover from that evening’s disappointing loss when they traveled to Dove Creek on Saturday, becoming the eighth team in a row to fall victim to a menacing Dolores County team currently fixed in a winning streak.
After falling to Mancos in their first Friday evening match-up 15-25, the varsity Miners ignited some heated competition in their next two matches beating the Bluejays 26-24 and 25-19. Yet the Miner fire faded in the next two matches and the team fell 17-25 and 11-15, catapulting the well-coached Mancos team to its sixth straight win and securing the Bluejays into the top slot in San Juan Basin League rankings.
“The girls played really well,” said Lady Miners assistant coach Rhea DePagter. “Mancos just made fewer mistakes than we did.” Telluride missed a total of 14 serves on Friday, essentially killing the team’s forward momentum. “In rally-scoring volleyball, you can't miss that many serves and win,” she said.
Telluride’s junior varsity also foundered against the high-flying Bluejays, winning their first match 25-21 but ultimately succumbing to Mancos in the next two matches 17-25 and 12-25.
The Friday night Mancos game in the Minerdome proved draining for Telluride, both physically and emotionally; so when it came time to show up mentally on Saturday, the Miners drew a blank. “The girls were tired…and it showed in our play,” DePagter said. Telluride lost to Dolores County (ranked behind Mancos at number-two in the league) in three games on Saturday: T18-DC25, T12-DC25 and T9-M25.
According to senior Nickey Goldsworthy, the team flat-out didn’t play up to their ability this weekend. “We didn’t play our best. We need to play our best, every game,” in order to get ahead of their menacing conference competition this season.
And while DePagter said the team was disappointed in their weekend performance, the silver lining she sees, though, in the two losses is that the Miners now know what it’s going to take to climb to the top of the conference standings. “It showed us that we still have a lot of work to do. The good thing is, we still have time in our season to make these changes.”
The Miners will be on the road for their next two games, meeting Nucla today and Norwood on Friday before returning to the Minerdome on Tuesday, Oct. 7 to play regional rivals the Ridgway Demons.
In other THS sports this week, the Miners’ boys soccer team plays Crested Butte, ranked number-two in the league, tonight at home. Game time is 4 p.m.