Listen to this post
MEEKER — At the beginning of the season, the volleyball team looked at the Rocky Mountain News predictions for the league. Vail Mountain was the outright favorite for the league championship and Meeker “has some size and experience and they should battle well.”
The girls were able to use this for fuel most of the season to do more than battle well. They had visions of the state tournament at Denver Coliseum and maybe even the elusive gold ball.
As the Cowgirls entered the regional tournament, their sights were set on advancing to the next step in our journey towards the state tournament this coming weekend.
We were able to scrape through the West Grand match winning 16-14 in the fifth set. The second match of the day was against Rangely, a team coach Christy Atwood had worried about playing in the post season simply because they were peaking at the right time and Coach Mergelman had her girls playing well.
“We did not play our best in any part of the match,”Atwood said. “At this point in the season, sub-par play typically leads to a loss. This was the case. We lost the match in four games.”
Going into the third and final match of the day, the Cowgirls still had a chance to go to state, but would need to win against Mancos.
The first game of the match the Cowgirls played point for point ending with a few errors and a loss for the game.
“The second game of the match the Meeker Cowgirls that I know and love were present and handed the Blue Jays a 25-12 loss,” Atwood said.
In the third game the Cowgirls took a deep breath and did not bring that “killer” instinct back on the floor, losing again. The Cowgirls were able to battle through the fourth game to get a win and force the final, deciding game.
The pressure the girls put on themselves to not just win, but win “perfectly”has been a detriment the entire season.
Meeker was able to make adjustments and keep the game tied until point number 12. After a hitting error, we couldn’t recover in the game that only goes to 15. Watching the ball hit the floor at game point for Mancos was the hardest thing to witness.
“With one bounce of the ball I heard the dreams of 13 girls crash to the floor,”Atwood said. “Losing is never the outcome I prepare for. The sting and the bitterness of any loss tends to stay with me for a long period of time.
“To look at everything positive that has happened to this point is hard to do at first, but necessary to start the healing and preparation for what lies ahead. This team has been blessed with talent, intelligence, and a drive I admire. I have written about the true meaning of team since the beginning of the season.”
Atwood said this team will be hard to match in future years. The tradition of Meeker volleyball has taken another step forward and will be fun to hold future teams to the standard set this season. Congratulations to the girls for their accomplishments this season. The loss in regionals doesn’t take away their league and district championships.
“Teaching the game of volleyball to these girls has been one of the most rewarding seasons in my coaching career,” Atwood said. “These girls love this game.”
The team would like to thank everyone who traveled countless miles to watch the girls play and a special thanks to Stan Cook and Pat Robinson who are true die-hard Meeker volleyball fans.
Congratulations and the best of luck to Coach Jimmie Mergelman and the Rangely Panthers. We hope your serves are in, your hits are untouchable and your belief in greatness is unwavering. Represent us well!