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VB teams coming together

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The Paonia volleyball team recovered from a rough regular-season stretch and posted three straight 3-0 victories last week.

The Eagles rebounded to win five in a row since losing three of four matches in the middle of the season and have an overall record of 13-3.

"Our offense picked up a little in the three recent wins," Paonia coach Krista Carsten said. "We definitely hit better the last three matches."

Last Tuesday Paonia started the week with a home victory over Olathe, winning 25-16, 25-14, 25-23. Emily Pieper recorded eight kills and Taylor Carsten had a big night with eight aces, 13 digs and 19 assists to lead the Eagles.

"Against Olathe we served aggressively and played a fairly solid all-around game," Carsten said.

Then the Eagles went to Plateau Valley and won 25-17, 25-21, 25-18. McKenna Hartigan had nine kills and five blocks in the win while Pieper served four aces. Brianna Van Vleet totaled 13 digs in the win for Paonia.

"Plateau Valley is just a scrappy team that plays great defense," Carsten said. "They hustle a ton and it's hard to get a ball to drop on their side. Mc-Kenna Hartigan has really stepped up her play. She is passing extremely well and definitely has come on with her hitting."

The last match of the week was in Meeker, where the Eagles won 25-18, 25-15, 25-22. Pieper nailed 12 kills while Hartigan had 10 kills and 24 digs in the victory. McKenna Palmer posted four aces and three blocks and Taylor Carsten recorded 20 assists in the victory.

"Although the numbers don't really show it, our blocking has improved greatly," Carsten said. "We blocked a ton of balls in Meeker, but they did a great job of playing the blocked ball. McKenna Palmer had an outstanding match, both offensively and defensively."

Paonia hosted Cedaredge last night in a huge rivalry match, then finishes the regular season on Thursday at Caprock and then on Friday night at Hotchkiss. District matches are scheduled for Oct. 30-31.

"What will create success for our team is to play with confidence," Carsten said. "We need to play aggressively and have that 'don't hold back' type of attitude."

Hotchkiss Bulldogs

Hotchkiss won its first two matches in over a year last week but then fell in two matches as the Bulldogs (2-14) head down the home stretch.

On the road last week, the Bulldogs fell to Ridgway 8-25, 13-25, 15-25.

Then in Plateau Valley Hotchkiss was defeated 17-25, 9-25, 7-25.

Gratia Fischer led the Bulldogs with three kills and eight digs against Plateau Valley. Noel Jaramillo had seven digs and Sophia Fischer recorded six assists in the match.

Hotchkiss was at Ouray last night and finishes out the regular season with home matches against Paonia on Friday and Meeker on Saturday.

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