Dove Creek volleyball continues to roll
Bulldogs stretch winning streak to 5 following 3-set victory over Ignacio
Ian MacLaren/Cortez Journal
Riding a four-match winning streak, including victories over two Class 4A schools, the Class 1A Dove Creek Bulldogs entered San Juan Basin League play brimming with confidence.
Competing in Dove Creek against the Ignacio Bobcats on Sept. 10, the Bulldogs were in control at the beginning and dominant at the end, winning in three sets, 25-15, 25-4, 25-7 to stretch their opening season winning streak to five games.
Jumping out to a quick 13-5 first-set lead after a spike by senior Jessica Guynes, the Bulldogs looked strong early on. A series of Dove Creek miscues allowed the Bobcats to climb back into the set, however, and following a spike by Ignacio hitter Cheyenne Cook, the score stood at 18-14 in favor of the Bulldogs.
The Bobcats were unable to pull closer, and following a five-point run on serves by Bulldogs’ junior Ana Lee and a nice offensive tip by Bulldogs’ senior Corissa Guynes, Dove Creek took the first set 25-15.
“(The team) was kind of slow at first,” said Bulldogs’ head coach Scott Knuckles, describing the first set. “It seemed like it took us a little bit to get warmed up and talking.”
Fully warmed up and ready to roll after their first set victory, the Bulldogs quickly seized control in the second set, and once they did, the team never looked back. After jumping ahead 7-0 early on the strength of strong team play and solid spikes by senior Shelbie Knuckles, Dove Creek built a commanding lead, pulling ahead 17-1, before winning the set 25-4.
“It says a lot about the servers that they can keep it in that many points in a row,” said Scott Knuckles, describing his team’s long run to start the second set.
“It’s a great accomplishment for us to be up that early,” added Corissa Guynes. “The way we do it is to keep our intensity up and try not to play down to the other team’s level and keep on playing our game.”
Looking to close out the match in three sets, the Bulldogs maintained their intensity, leading 4-0 after two consecutive aces by senior Jennifer Fury, 7-0 following a block by freshman Kris Johnson and 12-0 following a spike by Shelbie Knuckles.
After finally allowing Ignacio a point, the Bulldogs lowered the boom, continuing to dominate points in route to a 25-7 third set victory.
“You never like too easy of a win, but the girls came ready,” said Scott Knuckles. “The girls were on their game.”
Fury added, “We were talking and moving our feet. We really work well together. We’ve been practicing all week really hard.”
Leading the Bulldogs with nine kills was Shelbie Knuckles. Lee led the team in aces with five while Knuckles led the team in digs with 11.
Next up for the Bulldogs will be a Sept. 13 road matchup against Ouray and a Sept. 14 matchup on the road against Grand County.
“We still need to limit errors,” said Scott Knuckles, discussing improvements he hopes his team can make in upcoming matches. “We need to be in the right position on defense and taking care of the ball on the net.”