Cowboys building early momentum
By Brandon Warr
Times Staff Writer
GHS Volleyball — The Gunnison High School (GHS) volleyball team proved this past weekend that they can prevail in a pinch.
After splitting the first two sets — 25-17 and 25-15 — against the Delta Panthers in the third round of a tournament hosted by the Cowboys Saturday in Gunnison, the match was on the line. GHS found themselves tied 10-10 with Delta in the third set before going on a 5-1 run to down the Panthers helpingthe home team finish the tournament with a 3-1 record.
“The tournament went great for us,” said coach Shana Benson. “We saw a lot of improvement from our first game on Thursday to our final game on Saturday.”
The Cowboys (3-2) kicked off the tournament with an intense match against the Salida Spartans (1-3). What turned out to be an impressive showing by GHS almost went bad for the Cowboys, as the Spartans started to make a comeback — closing the gap to 22-19 and resulting in the Cowboys calling a timeout.
After the timeout, Salida appeared to still have momentum. However, they were ultimately shut down by the GHS defense. Elizabeth Shaw would crush the Spartans’ hopes as she spiked home the final points of the set, leading the Cowboys to a 25-22 victory.
In the second set, GHS got off to a 8-2 run, which became too big of a gap for Salida to close. The Spartans had a chance to make a comeback as they closed the gap to 14-12, but a 4-0 run by the Cowboys helped seal a 25-17 victory.
Coming off an impressive game one victory, GHS faced the Alamosa Maroons. While the game started in a back-and-forth affair and the score tied 6-6, the Maroons took control of the game after going on a 7-0 run.
The Cowboys tried to battle back but would end up dropping the first set 25-18. Things didn’t get any easier for the Cowboys either, as the Maroons went on a 6-1 run in the second set. The Cowboys would try to fight their way back into the game by cutting the lead to 4-8. However, the Maroons went on to win 25-12.
In the first set against Delta, GHS raced out to a quick 7-3 lead. However, the Panthers weren’t going to go down easily. The two teams battled to a 13-13 tie before the Cowboys captured the first set following a run.
The Cowboys hoped to finish Delta quickly as they started off with a 3-1 lead in the second set. However, the Panthers clawed back to tie the game 5-5. Following continued back-and-forth play, Delta went on a 10-2 run to push their lead to 15-7. The Cowboys fought back to as close as four points, but the Panthers ultimately prevailed 25-15, forcing the third set.
With the series tied 1-1,the Panthers took an early, 6-3 lead before the Cowboys regrouped. Delta was unable to rally after trailing 13-10.
Bailey Propernick would put the game away with a vicious spike over Delta’s defender. In the end, the Cowboys prevailed 15-11.
“It felt good to score the final point,” said Propernick. “Mostly because Delta is a tough team and coming out with a victory felt good for the team.”
In a highly anticipated final match-up on Saturday, GHS faced their rivals the Olathe Pirates (1-1).
In the first set against Olathe, the Pirates attempted to put up a fight but fell 25-17 to GHS. Olathe started the second set with a 6-3 lead. However, GHS maintained a slim, 21-19 lead over Olathe late in the set and ultimately capped off their long day with a 25-23 win over the Pirates.
GHS opened its season Aug. 31 at home against Buena Vista — dropping all three sets, 25-7, 25-16 and 25-18.
The Cowboys will play at home tonight as they face Olathe again at 6 p.m.
(Brandon Warr can be reached at 970.641.1414 or firstname.lastname@example.org.)