The five-team, single elimination tournament brought teams from Mancos, Norwood, Naturita, and Dove Creek to Telluride. Telluride was knocked out early, after losing their 10 a.m. match to Mancos 25-13 and 25-16. Mancos advanced to the championship match, but lost to Dove Creek in back-to-back games, giving Dove Creek the tournament title and the San Juan Basin League Middle School Volleyball Tournament trophy for the 2005 season.
Mike Hughes, Athletic Director at the Telluride Middle/High School, said that although the Middle School girls' team did not chalk up a victory on Saturday, the home-court tournament was an important learning experience for the team as a whole.
"The tournament is a culminating event just before the season wraps up, and it's a good way to see how all the teams have advanced since the beginning of the school year," he says. "Our kids proved that they have really improved over the course of the season."
He added that having the tournament at home in Telluride also proved to be a big help for the improving Telluride squad, who was able to watch other teams play throughout the day.
"It allowed them to see the level of skill those teams that made it to the championship round are playing at," he says.
Mahoney, who took the reins as head coach just this year, commended the hard work and great attitudes of the team's eighth-grade players, who will be moving up to play at the high school level next year.
"Alison Stanfield and Amy Brelsford delivered tough overhand serves and were responsible for multiple points during the game," she said. "Tarja Berry and Mia McLaughlin returned many tough spikes and serves from Mancos. Chancee Forestier had a great spike against the other team ending in a point. Kenya Johnston and Emy Ludwig performed exceptionally setting the girls up for spikes."
Though Middle School volleyball action is over for the season, high school play is far from over. The Telluride High School team plays Ouray tonight at the THS gymnasium, starting at 5 p.m.