Times Staff Writer
GHS Volleyball — Six games in five days. That is what the Gunnison High School (GHS) volleyball team has endured to start the 2018 season.
Despite a rough start to this year’s campaign this past Thursday — in which the Cowboys fell to the Montrose Indians in three sets (25-16, 25-17 and 25-16) — GHS bounced back on Saturday. The Cowboys picked up their first and second wins of the season at the GHS Volleyball Invite.
“It felt good to get two wins,” said Shaylee Mangum. “I could tell that we are starting to click and trust each other more. I’m excited for this season.”
The Cowboys struggled at times during the tournament, dropping two games. However, the team’s second win came in the third-place match against Mancos.
GHS won the first set 25-17 before allowing the Blue Jays to take the second set 25-20. The Cowboys ultimately sealed the deal in the third and final set, defeating Mancos 15-8.
JayCee Fuller and Jenna Wise helped get things going for the Cowboys in set one, as back-to-back kills resulted in GHS taking a 2-0 lead.
Mancos tried to slow down the Cowboys, scoring on the very next server. GHS rallied right back, going on a 9-1 run before the Blue Jays scored their next point. Yet, the Blue Jays’ spirits appeared to dip, after Fuller blocked a Mancos kill attempt.
Things didn’t get any better for the Blue Jays, as the Cowboys went on yet another run.
Mancos scored their second point of the game and attempted to get their offense going. However, GHS wasn’t having it.
Kylie Travis and Annabelle Morrison sparked a 5-1 run, as the lead was pushed to 15-2.
Travis recorded two kills, while Morrison recorded one during the run.
The Blue Jays battled back and cut the lead to 20-13, resulting in the Cowboys calling a timeout.
Mancos tried to get back in the game in scoring two more points after the timeout.
However, Mangum and Travis went on a 3-0 run of their own, helping GHS extend the lead to 23-15. Mangum recorded a kill and service ace, while Travis earned a kill. With the set firmly in hand, Mikayla Chinn sealed the deal with a kill.
In the second set, the Cowboys appeared to be overconfident from the start. The Blue Jays got things going early, racing out to a 12-4 lead.
In response, a kill by Travis helped spark a 5-1 run for GHS. Travis recorded three kills during the run, while Randi Vincent recorded a service ace.
Mancos started to feel the pressure, as countless errors resulted in GHS cutting the lead to 20-16. A Vincent kill and Taylor Alton ace helped cut the lead to 20-18.
Travis earned back-to-back kills later during the set. However, the damage was done.
In the final set, the Blue Jays appeared to have momentum early. However, the Cowboys were determined to win.
GHS trailed 3-1 to start the set before a Mangum kill and service error by the Blue Jays helped cut the lead to one.
Two more errors, along with a Alton service ace and Morrison block, resulted in the Cowboys taking a 8-5 lead.
Mistakes continued for the Blue Jays, helping GHS take a 10-6 lead before calling a timeout.
Coming out of the timeout, Mancos appeared to be ready to try and make a comeback.
However, Mangum scored three out of the five final points, recording two kills and a block, while Wise sealed the game with a service ace.
“Playing five games in four days has been a really fun time getting to know my teammates,” said Travis. “I think it’s a great way to start the season, and we have gotten great support from the bullpen and the community.”
On Tuesday, GHS traveled to Olathe High School, where they won (25-21, 25-23 and 25-16).
GHS will be back on the court today, Sept. 6, hosting Delta High School at 6 p.m.
(Brandon Warr can be reached at 970.641.1414 or email@example.com.)
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