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Pirates win two, advance to regionals

Staff Writer

SUN photo/Mike Pierce It’s coming back at you. Miah Pitcher, left, and Morgan Schaaf thwart a Centauri hitter during action in the final match of the regular season. The Pirates defeated the Falcons, finished in second place in the Intermountain League standings, and move on to regional action today and tomorrow at Manitou Springs where they face the hosts and Grand Valley.

SUN photo/Mike Pierce
It’s coming back at you. Miah Pitcher, left, and Morgan Schaaf thwart a Centauri hitter during action in the final match of the regular season. The Pirates defeated the Falcons, finished in second place in the Intermountain League standings, and move on to regional action today and tomorrow at Manitou Springs where they face the hosts and Grand Valley.

The Pirate volleyball team finished regular season play last week in second place in the Intermountain League with two league wins at home, against Alamosa and Centauri. After these victories, the team was ranked 22nd statewide in Class 3A.

Although the Pirates won the match against Alamosa last Thursday 3-0, all of the games were close: 31-29, 29-27, 25-23. Although games are played to 25, teams have to win by two in rally scoring, which is why scores in the first two games were so high.

The win at home against the Mean Moose was exciting, especially after an away loss to Alamosa earlier this season, Coach Connie O’Donnell explained that the girls played as a team and made necessary adjustments that helped them succeed.

“We were missing Megan Farrah due to an ankle injury, but some of the JV players we put in really stepped up. The whole team was communicating, and played well together,” said O’Donnell.

The Pirates secured their last win of the regular season Saturday, after a long match against Centauri. Scores were close during the games against the Falcons, and the teams traded wins until the fifth game, when Pagosa clenched the match 25-18, 21-25, 25-23, 23-25,15-11.

The Centauri match was different from many others because the Pirates hadn’t played a Saturday match in a while. O’Donnell attributed some of the successful play to the fact that the players were relaxed and hadn’t done any major work before the game. The coach also described the perserverance and hard work it took to secure the win.

“They (Centauri) had a really good lead right away in the second game, but we worked hard to make a comeback,” O’Donnell said. “Although we didn’t win that game, it really gave us momentum for the third game.”

The coach also explained that the team members were able to work together, communicate effectively and support each other on Thursday and Saturday, demonstrating a cohesiveness the Pirates have struggled to achieve the past couple of weeks.

“I’m so proud of them after both matches, for being so positive and encouraging each other,” O’Donnell said. “That’s what made us successful.”

The top 36 teams in the Colorado 3A attend postseason tournaments. Ranked 22nd, the Pirates will attend an away tournament this week. To kick off postseason play, the top 12 teams host two other teams each in a round robin-style tournament. The winner of each tournament advances to the state tournament.

The Pirates travel to Manitou Springs tomorrow to play the No. 3-ranked Manitou Springs Mustangs and the No. 34 Grand Valley Fighting Cardinals. Because they are seeded second in the tournament, Pagosa will take on Grand Valley first, then Manitou Springs. The tournament starts at 4 p.m.

“The girls are really excited to have the opportunity to go to a postseason tournament,” said O’Donnell. “Not everybody gets that chance.”

Dana.Hayward@pagosasun.com

This story was posted on October 31, 2013.