Last Saturday, the Pagosa Springs High School volleyball team battled three teams during the district tournament for the chance to compete in regionals.
The Pirates first took on the Buena Vista Demons during the Gunnison-hosted tournament. The Pirates lost in three games: 19-25, 22-25 and 16-25.
“They did really well at the beginning of the match,” said coach Connie O’Donnell of the games. “It was really strange; we had more hitting than kills, more block errors than blocks and a lot of missed serves. We did it to ourselves. The games were close, and we held ourselves back.”
O’Donnell said that it was the first game like that all year, and was the most frustrating game of the year. Yet, the Pirates did not give up the fight. They went on to play and defeat the Aspen Skiers in five games: 25-23, 19-25, 25-17, 24-26 and 15-4.
“We served a lot better that game... Everything was going better,” O’Donnell said.
Senior Katie Armbrecht had 18 kills. Brooklyn DuCharme had 13 kills, yet it was DuCharme’s defense that really stood out — DuCharme had 50 digs.
With barely a break, the Pirates went on to their last game of the tournament against the host Gunnison Cowboys. If the Pirates won, it would be a three-way tournament tie and a force a tie-breaker game. The momentum from the Aspen win, however, was not enough. The Pirates lost the match in three games: 22-25, 21-25 and 17-25.
“All three games were so close; it was so frustrating,” O’Donnell said, continuing, “We missed serves at crucial points and made a few hitting errors.”
Junior Gabby Pajak brought her jump serve to the court for a few points. According to O’Donnell, junior Angie Gallegos stepped up on defense.
“She (Gallegos) was moving well in the back row against Gunnison. Balls weren’t dropping. It was mainly hitting errors,” O’Donnell said.
DuCharme had 27 digs, and nine kills. Pajak had 20 digs and 10 kills during the Gunnison game.
At the end of the season, the Pirates were 11-11.
“I feel like we built on last year, and we did better,” O’Donnell said. “We are still headed in the right direction, and I’m really so thankful to the seniors who were really good leaders and pushed the team in the right directions. They were the ones who led the way.”
As for next year, O’Donnell said the goal will be to make it out of districts.
“We’re going to get better every year,” she said. Until next year, though, there will be work, keeping in shape, practicing and coming back after summer break ready for the season.