Bears season comes to surprising end
Dolores upset twice in District Tournament, finishes season with 13-8 record.
For the Dolores Bears volleyball team, the 2013 season ended far too fast and far too soon.
Coming off an outstanding regular season in which the team won 13 of its 19 games, the Bears dropped their first two games of the 2A District 3 Tournament, thus ending their season with a 13-8 record.
Opening the tournament in Mancos on Saturday, Oct. 26, the Bears faced off against the Ignacio Bobcats, a team that Dolores defeated twice during the regular season.
Battling injuries and uncharacteristically lethargic play, the Bears fell in four sets, 25-23, 17-25, 26-24, 25-22.
"One of my top seniors, (Elana Bernholtz), was injured," Bears' head coach Gina Hollen said. "We did not pass the ball very well. Our passing wasn't there, and as a result, our sets were kind of off."
Shortly after their loss to Ignacio, the Bears returned to action against the Nucla Mustangs, a team that, like Ignacio, Dolores had beaten twice earlier this year.
Looking to extend their season, the Bears battled hard before eventually dropping a five-set nail biter, 25-22, 24-26, 25-22, 20-25, 15-12.
"We missed serves in the third and fourth game," said Hollen of the loss. "The energy level was down. We had a few calls that definitely went against us. The girls played strong and fought to the end."
With their loss to Nucla, the Bears were eliminated from the tournament.
With several key underclassmen returning next year, the Bears will look to put their surprisingly quick postseason exit in the rearview mirror and begin preparing for next season.
"We're going to work on refining our skills," said Hollen. "We have to develop trust among the players. "We just need to learn to work and trust each other."