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Pagosa bows out of district volleyball tourney

The Pirate volleyball season ended last Saturday with three losses at the district tournament.

The day was not without its high points, despite the losses, and the tournament began with one of Pagosa’s best efforts this year. The Pirates went up against the host Bayfield Wolverines in their first match of the day and took the Intermountain League champs to five games before losing 14-25, 25-18, 25-23, 13-25, 6-15.

“Our first game of the match,” said Pirate Coach Connie O’Donnell, “we played poorly. After that game, I asked what was wrong. Someone said, ‘We weren’t ready to play.’ Well, they got ready and won games two and three. We went on to play pretty well in games four and five. Our kids were playing aggressively. Our serves in the first game were terrible, but the serving was good the rest of the way. We had a lot of digs and a lot of blocks against Bayfield, and I thought we’d beat them in the fifth game. It was fun to be involved in that match.”

The problem with being the No. 4 seed at four-team tournament is that you must play two matches in a row, and that is what happened to the Pirates as they faced Olathe immediately after the match with Bayfield.

“It’s hard to turn around and play without a rest,” said the coach. “And we were kind of down after the loss to Bayfield.”

Pagosa lost the match to Olathe 3-1 and had a match rest before facing The Classical Academy, the ultimate winners of the district tourney.

The Classical Academy brought a strong team to Bayfield from Colorado Springs, and from the Tri Peaks League, which features several of the best Class 3A teams in the state. Pagosa lost the match 3-0 (25-9, 25-13, 25-16), but showed some promise during the contest — characteristics that could sustain and blossom next year.

“I was proud of our girls,” said O’Donnell. “They had nothing to play for at the end of the day, but they didn’t fold. We got some blocks on them and Brooklynn (DuCharme) dug one of their better hitters a number of times. Our girls pushed to the end, kept playing and scored points on Classical Academy. They didn’t give up.”

O’Donnell, who took over the Pirate program late in the summer now has a season’s experience to rely on as she prepares for next year.

“It’s going to be a lot easier now to plan things out for next season,” she said. “Knowing the players and what needs to be done will be a big advantage and I am already looking forward to it and thinking about our rotation.”