Meeker volleyball team hosts Plateau Valley for Homecoming

Meeker High School volleyball players celebrated after winning the fifth game in a hard fought match against the Vail Mountain Gore Rangers last Saturday on their home court. Meeker traveled to Rangely Tuesday for a non-league match against their Rio Blanco County rival and played five more games but the hometown Panthers won the fifth and deciding game. Bobby Gutierrez photo

MEEKER | The Meeker High School volleyball team continues to improve, as they won two matches last week, played Rio Blanco County rival Rangely Tuesday, play in Kremmling today and host Plateau Valley Friday for Homecoming 2017. The lady Cowboys have a 7-1 record after beating the Caprock Academy Eagles in three games last Friday, then played five games against the Vail Mountain Gore Rangers, before winning the match.
“Friday’s match was a great learning experience for our team,” Meeker head coach Greg Cravens said of the game in Grand Junction. “We are still building confidence in our abilities and our team, we are still working on our ball control, so we can get more people involved in our offense and we reached our serving goals with 16 aces and only eight errors.”
Kassie Luce led the team with five aces, while her twin Krissie led the team with 13 kills against the Eagles. Julia Dinwiddie finished with seven kills, four aces and two blocks, Addie Joy had three aces, while Avery Watt and Lila Klinglesmith each had two.
Saturday, against the Gore Rangers at home, the lady Cowboys had to come from behind, after losing the first game, then faced defeat after winning the second game but losing the third and falling behind in the fourth.
“Saturday’s match is exactly what the doctor ordered for this team,” coach Cravens said. “We needed to be pushed, we needed to be stressed, so we can learn to handle those emotions and still play at a high level.”
Meeker lost the first game 23-25 and the next three games went into extended play to determine a winner, with the Cowboys winning the second game 26-24, losing the third 27-29, before coming from behind to win the fourth 26-24, to push the match into a fifth game, which Meeker won 15-11.
Kassie Luce set up the team with 45 assists against the Gore Rangers and her sister spiked almost half (22) of them for kills, sophomore Dinwiddie finished with 12 kills and sophomore classmate Caleigh Morlan had 10. Dinwiddie also had four blocks.
“Krissie and Julia are developing offensively and are both very efficient hitters,” coach Cravens said. “Caleigh is still trying to come back from an ankle injury but performed well against the Gore Rangers.”
Kassie Luce had 13 digs, senior Avery Watt finished with eight, while Dinwiddie and Lila Klinglesmith both had five. Watt and Klinglesmith each had received 12 serves and Krissie Luce had 11.
Meeker will play a league match in Kremmling against the West Grand Mustangs before its Homecoming match against Plateau Valley Friday.
“This week is going to be a crazy week, with all the Homecoming festivities and three matches, the girls are going to be busy but hopefully we can stay focused,” coach Cravens said. “The match against West Grand Thursday evening will be a very good test for our team. We need to be very good at serving and passing to come home with a very important conference victory.”