GUNNISON—The Manti Templars and Gunnison Valley Bulldog volleyball teams opened their seasons together last Thursday with a non-league game at Gunnison High School.
The Templars took all three sets by a large margin to claim the win in a sweep, 25-10, 25-16, 25-15.
Coach Aaron Smith is in his second season of coaching the Templars and said he was proud of his girls on Thursday night.
“They played their game the whole time, and it showed,” he said.
Junior Rae Chase led the Lady Templars playing all three sets, starting her season off right with ten kills and seven digs. Smith said he and his team are going to take games one at a time and his goal this year is for his team to win a game at state.
“Last year was the first time Manti made it to state in seven years,” Smith said. “Now we need to take the next step and win some games at state.”
Both teams are young, Manti is only returning two seniors and Gunnison one. Gunnison is also under new coaching staff this year with Janna Jensen leading the Bulldogs.
“We are so glad to have that first game done and under our belts, and now it’s time to get to work,” Jensen said. “We have gotten so much better since our pre- season summer tournament a month ago, and I can’t wait to see how much better we will be in another month from now.”
Senior Jakelle Sorenson led the Lady Bulldogs playing all three sets, racking up five kills and 11 digs.
Jensen said she thought her team learned about mental confidence and the importance of working together. “Everyone was so nervous, and it started rocky, so everyone had to pull together and play as a team,” she said. “I am proud of them for pushing through the nerves and new circumstances and getting better.”
“I hope no one counts us out because we are uphill every week and getting better,” Jensen said.