It wasn't the season they had hoped for, but the Lady Bulldogs volleyball team stayed upbeat through all the losses, urging each other on, learning all they could, and playing their best.
After losing out Saturday at the 2A regional volleyball tournament in Paonia, head coach Kendal Roberts praised her team.
"I was proud to be their coach," said Roberts of her young team. "I was just telling them I don't care what their record was. I was happy to be their coach."
Hotchkiss finished the season with a 2-16 record. Its two wins were enough to advance the team to last week's pigtail game against Hayden.
With two of the Lady Tigers' starters benched for disciplinary reasons, Hotchkiss took advantage and won the match to advance to Saturday's tournament.
"We definitely felt we were given a gift, twice, by being in Hayden and getting the break that got us to districts," said Roberts. "They played like the team they should be."
Starting middle hitter Daryl Batt, one of three seniors on the Lady Bulldogs' squad, said the worst part of the season wasn't the losses, but about knowing it was her last year to play with her teammates.
Batt is a club player and will forego her senior year on the Hotchkiss basketball team to play volleyball. Last year, she missed a big tournament in Las Vegas while playing basketball.
Batt said that until this year, she played both club and high school volleyball as an outside hitter. This season, she moved to middle hitter. "I was nervous," said Batt, "but the first set of the year I had 50 attacks and 22 kills. That's pretty cool."
While Hotchkiss lost all three of Saturday's playoff games, they beat rival Paonia, 26-24, in the opening set.
Junior middle hitter and blocker Katie Richards said that was the highlight of the day. "It was good, it was awesome," especially after winning at Hayden, said Richards.
Batt said she sees a stronger Hotchkiss team next season, largely because they have developed a strong bond. "That chemistry is going to help them next year," said Batt.
Richards, one of six varsity juniors, said she looks forward to her senior year. "We became so close," said Richards of her teammates. "We can take this into next summer."blog comments powered by Disqus