Hotchkiss hands Hayden volleyball a loss Saturday |

Hotchkiss hands Hayden volleyball a loss Saturday

Hayden senior Morgan Bennet passes the ball during a game against Hotchkiss at the District Tournament at Hayden High School on Saturday, Nov. 2.
Shelby Reardon

HAYDEN — Going into the final game of the District Tournament, the Hayden High School volleyball team was 3-0. Another victory would seriously improve their chances of making a playoff spot.

Unfortunately for the Tigers, who hosted the round robin, Hotchkiss served a devastating blow, sweeping them 2-0 on Saturday, Nov. 2, from Hayden High School.

Down 10-2 isn’t the best way to start a match, but that was the deficit the Hayden volleyball team faced early on against Hotchkiss. 

Three kills from Tiger senior Hailee Smith closed the gap to 11-9. A consecutive kill and ace from junior middle hitter Leah Carrouth ties it up from 12.

In the same instance the Tigers collected themselves, they crumbled. 

Hotchkiss earned four straight points to gain a lead and confidence once more. An ace from sophomore Piper Jo Jones got the Tigers within one, 16-15, but that’s as close as it got as the Bulldogs won 25-17. 

“Typical M.O. is what I would call that,” Hayden head coach Lexi Cyphers said. “That tends to be what we do, and I’m not exactly sure how to cure it. We have started to get out of it the last couple weeks, and today we went right back to it.”

Hayden senior Alex Camilletti receives a serve during a game against Hotchkiss at the District Tournament at Hayden High School on Saturday, Nov. 2.
Shelby Reardon

In the tournament’s best of three format, Hayden needed to win the second set to stay alive.

It started similarly, with the Bulldogs breaking away to a 9-2 lead. This time, there was no Tigers comeback though. 

An ace from Carrouth brought the score to 16-8, but from then on, Hayden only scored on Hotchkiss errors. 

Multiple balls in the net allowed the Tigers to collect 13 points, maintaining a 10-point deficit. A tip from senior Joey Deckler tacked on one more for the girls in black, but a huge block from Hotchkiss senior Shay Glaser brought the Bulldogs within one point of victory.

Determined to keep the season going, Hayden endured its longest volley yet. Smacks from Smith and Camilletti came down hard, but the Bulldogs were there to respond. Eventually, the Tigers won out and put a 15 on the scoreboard. 

Hayden senior Hailee Smith makes contact with the ball during a game against Hotchkiss at the District Tournament at Hayden High School on Saturday, Nov. 2.
Shelby Reardon

“I think it has a lot to do with our attitude,” Hayden senior setter Morgan Bennet said. “Once one person’s attitude goes down, the whole team’s does. I think that’s what changed.”

Hotchkiss had the final word, as a Bulldog placed the ball in a gap, causing three Hayden players to dive for it, but none got a hand under the ball. 

On Friday, Hayden triumphed over Caprock Academy in a pair of sets that each finished 25-12. The hosts also beat Plateau Valley, but that was far closer. Following a narrow 25-23 victory, the Tigers sealed the deal in set two, 25-21.

“They were always focused on what was next, not what just happened,” Cyphers said.

Earlier Saturday, the Tigers defeated Rangely 2-0 by dominant set scores of 25-17 and 25-9.

“The girls came out really strong … they were impressive (Saturday) morning. I was extremely proud of the way they played. They played as one unit for, in my opinion, for the first time as one, completely, for the entire game. It was really, really amazing to watch.”

While their fate hasn’t been sealed yet, the Tigers’ District Tournament performance probably won’t earn them a spot in the top 36 of the RPI standings.

Friday, Nov. 1
Hayden 2, Plateau Valley 0

H 25 25 — 2
PV 23 21 — 0
Hayden 2, Caprock Academy 0
CA 12 12 — 0
H 25 25 — 2
Saturday, Nov. 2
Hayden 2, Rangely 0

R 17 9 — 0
H 25 25 — 2
Hotchkiss 2, Hayden 0

Ho 25 25 — 2
Ha 17 15 — 0

Hayden volleyball schedule

  • Aug. 27: at Moffat County, W 17-25, 25-14, 26-24, 25-23
  • Sept. 6-7: Rangely Tournament
  • Sept. 14: at Hotchkiss, L 3-1
  • Sept. 19: vs. Meeker, L 3-0.
  • Sept. 20: at Vail Mountain, L 3-0
  • Sept. 27: at Vail Christian, L 3-2
  • Sept. 28: vs. Plateau Valley, W 3-1
  • Oct. 3: vs. Soroco, W 3-2
  • Oct. 4: at DeBeque, W 3-1
  • Oct. 11: at Rangely, W 3-2
  • Oct. 18: vs. West Grand, L 3-0
  • Oct. 19: vs. Little Snake River, L 3-0
  • Oct. 25: at Paonia, L 3-1
  • Oct. 26: at Caprock, W 3-0
  • Nov. 1, 2: Western Slope District Tournament 3-1

To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.

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