Chargers make quick work of Eagles

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By Dan Johnson

There’s going to be times when the youthful Chatfield volleyball team shows its inexperience.

There’s also going to be instances when the Chargers flash glimpses of talent, that once refined, could return the Chargers back to the top of the Class 5A Jefferson County League Standings.

The Chargers opened the Jeffco League portion of their schedule Sept. 18 at rival Dakota Ridge, and showed much more promise than inexperience as they quickly dispatched of the Eagles in three games, 25-16, 25-22, 25-14.

“It’s definitely a good start to league,” said junior Ali Longo, who had several kills, a multitude of nice sets and also delivered a strong service game. “I’m proud of the team; we played really hard.”

Chatfield, which has now won its last four matches, jumped on the Eagles (0-1 Jeffco, 2-7 overall) early, thanks to the strong hitting from Longo and the team’s lone senior, Alysa Heath. The Chargers (1-0, 6-4) opened up a 17-7 lead and late aces by Heath and Tessa Mauer closed out the game for the Chargers.

Dakota Ridge, which lacked the size of Chatfield, appeared ready to cave midway through the second game as a string of unforced errors allowed the Chargers to go up 12-8.

The Eagles finally showed some life with Haley MacDonald, in particular, leading the charge on a comeback that eventually saw the home squad take a brief lead at 19-18. Things got a little perplexing with the Chargers up 20-19. It appeared Dakota Ridge had scored the tying point, but the side referee overruled the call, and awarded the point to the Chargers. Dakota Ridge dropped the next two points to fall behind 23-19 and eventually lost the game 25-22.

“They had said before the game they wanted to take this in three, so they really came together in the end of that second game,” said Chatfield coach Stephanie Schick. “We didn’t want to see it go to four games, and certainly not five.”

Game three started out competitive, but the hitting of Heath, Longo, Mauer and Mary Pollmiller stifled the Eagles. Chatfield broke open a 10-10 tie, scoring 15 of the next 19 points – including the final eight – and won the game, and match, going away.

“We knew we had a size advantage coming in and I thought we did a good job taking advantage of that,” Longo said. “We’re still young, but we’re growing more confident every match and I’m excited for the rest of league.”

The Chargers face a stiff test on Sept. 26 when they travel to Lakewood to take on the 10-1 Tigers.

“If we play the way we’re capable of playing, we will be in the upper-tier of the league,” Schick said.