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Pirate volleyball team hosts Durango tonight

The Pirate volleyball season got underway with a 3-0 loss to Sangre de Cristo Sept. 5 and a 3-0 loss to Cortez on Sept. 8.

Pagosa entertained Sangre on the home court and stayed close in the first game of the match with the 2A contender, losing 23-25.

Game two of the match was not so close, with the visitors from the San Luis Valley taking a 25-11 win.

The evening ended with the sweep, as Sangre prevailed 25-17.

Senior Jessica Blum led the way on offense for Pagosa, with six kills. Senior middle Kala Matzdorf had five kills in the match. Senior setter Casey Meekins put up 15 assists. Junior Kelsi Lucero served two aces.

On defense, Sophomore Brooklyn DuCharme nailed two stuff blocks; junior DS Sienna Stretton had six digs and DuCharme contributed five.

“We came out with good energy,” said coach Andy Rice, “but we weren’t able to overcome adversity. We had some inconsistent setting, and that led to poor attack statistics.”

Rice single out Blum for her performance. “Jessica showed some good senior leadership.”

In the end, though, it came down to the fact that, “They (Sangre) had better ball control. A ranked 2A team came in a took it to us. We have no excuses.”

The team took to the road Sept. 8 to meet Cortez and continue a rivalry that goes back to the early ’90s. Cortez got the best of the match 25-15, 25-22, 25-20.

Brinda Wallis topped the stats on offense, with six kills; Matzdorf put five kills down. Meekins had 18 assists; Matzdorf served three aces, Breezy Bryant Two.

Megan Bryant and Matzdorf each had two solo blocks; Meekins had five digs in the back court, Breezy Bryant two.

“We seemed to start out a little intimidated, not very focused,” said Rice. Then, we had a better response to adversity than we did against Sangre de Cristo. We should have won the second game. Casey set a lot better against Cortez, but our attack efficiency is not good at this point. We weren’t able to put the ball down. We need more leadership when we are under pressure. We have good talent and skills. What we need to do now is focus on mental toughness.”

The Pirates will have the opportunity to exhibit some mental toughness tonight, when 5A Durango comes to town for a match at the PSHS gym. The Pirates hope to get well against the Demons, who play their first match of the season.

“They are a tough team,” said Rice of the Demons. They have a good, solid tradition and they are well coached. They have a big, sophomore outside hitter. We scrimmaged well with them before the season began; we just need to play better and our responses to our mistakes have to be better.”

Action at the gym begins with C Team play at 4 p.m.

Next Tuesday, the Pirates travel to Farmington for a match with the Scorpions.