The Hotchkiss volleyball team completed the regular season last Saturday in the Bulldogs gym. While they fell in three sets to Meeker, the Bulldogs have much to look forward to.
After playing very well in a tough defeat at home against Paonia last Friday, Bulldogs coach Taralee Williams hoped for a stronger effort against Meeker.
"If we played today the way we played against Paonia, we would have won," Williams said. "I was expecting after yesterday's performance that we would just bring it. We didn't show up to play today. End of story."
Meeker won the first set 25-18 after Hotchkiss was hurt by some service errors and net violations.
In the second set, Gratia Fisher hit a kill for an early 3-1 lead, then Carson Collins and Tyra Jaramillo hit home kills, and Hotchkiss jumped ahead 7-5. Fatima Rodriquez had a block to make it 10-9 for the Bulldogs.
Halle Ahrens answered with a kill and a block for Meeker as the visitors reclaimed the lead, then Kristen Luce tipped in the final point for a 25-15 win for the Cowboys.
The third set was tied several times before Meeker pulled ahead. Reese Pertile boomed home a kill, and Ahrens landed some wicked left-handed serves that propelled Meeker to a 25-16 win and a clean sweep.
"Everyone's working on their individual skills, and we are getting better," Williams said. "Now it's about being consistent and playing well for the entire match. Mentally we just need to get tougher."
Hotchkiss honored seniors Gratia Fisher, Maddie Guthrie and Noel Jaramillo before the match.
"Gratia was with us from the beginning. She's done everything for us, and she's just awesome," Williams said. "Maddie moved here this year and missed the summer, but she played real well for us. Noel has been great; she's really stepped up as a senior, as a back row player. We're going to miss all three of them greatly next year."
Williams finished her first season as coach and plans on many more.
"I love teaching and coaching here," Williams said. "These are the hardest-working girls I've ever coached. We're going to get better. We're going to do some stuff in the offseason, and I think things will be different next year."
The Bulldogs finished the regular season with two match wins. Hotchkiss had a road game in the pigtail match last night at Hayden. The winner advanced to this weekend's district matches.