The Chatfield volleyball team had just one goal as the host of the Class 5A District 2 Volleyball Tournament – win each game in three matches.
The Chargers were on their way to that goal Oct. 31 with a 3-0 victory over Abraham Lincoln in the first game of pool play. And, even though Chatfield went on to win the District 2 tournament with a 3-0 win over Fort Collins in the championship matchup, it was the second game of pool play which gave the Chargers a challenge.
It was the Dakota Ridge Eagles who came along with a plan of their own.
With Chatfield up two games to none, the Eagles decided to keep the Chargers from getting their “three straight match wins and out.”
In the third set, Dakota Ridge took a quick 8-3 lead and battled to keep two and four-point leads. When the score stood at 19-18, the Eagles went ahead by two as Chatfield had a bad serve. The two teams tied it up at 20 apiece and again at 22 and 23.
The Eagles went ahead 24-23 on a service ace by Ashley DiFulvio, but Chatfield answered with a point of its own to make it even at 24. Dakota Ridge scored the next two straight points off a double-team block at the net to seal the 26-24 victory.
“That third match was a wake-up call,” Chatfield junior Erin Mowry said. “They were tough.”
However, the Eagles ran out of steam in the fourth set. Chatfield jumped to a rather quick 20-6 lead before Dakota Ridge decided to inch its way back in. But, it was too late as the Chargers went on to an easy 25-15 victory.
“We just waited too late to play,” Dakota Ridge senior Haley MacDonald said. “We were expecting them to give us a fifth set, but that wasn’t the case.”
Eagles’ teammate Morgan Yoxall added: “In that third set, we were just ‘on’. We got a little bit tired and that third match took so much energy. It was hard to come back after that.”
Chatfield coach Stephanie Schick said she was impressed with the Eagles’ tenacity in that third set.
“After that loss, I challenged my girls and said, ‘How are you going to respond?’” Schick said. “They just went out and showed me their response by winning that fourth set. They had fun with it.”
Even though the Chargers wanted to win every game in three matches, Dakota Ridge wasn’t the only school to put Chatfield to the test.
In the semifinals, Liberty also grabbed a match away from the Chargers. But, Chatfield went on to win 3-1 over the Lancers.
“We all knew what we needed to do and we went back to how we normally play,” said Chatfield senior Ali Longo, after the Dakota Ridge victory. “We just got things done.”
Chatfield hosts a four-team regional on Nov. 7 at Chatfield Senior High School.