Fossil outlasts Rocky in stellar senior night matchup


Fossil players Delaney Ewing and Nicole Grove contesting a spike from a Rocky player.

Dylan Heinrich, Sports Writer

The Fossil Ridge volleyball team fought an emotional war on senior night, defeating Rocky Mountain 3-2.

The Sabercats were celebrating the night from the beginning, honoring their five seniors with the annual ceremony. Among those celebrated were Emma Grace Moddelmog, Dylanne Hardy, Nicole Grove, Bella Kiefer, and Maya Siple.

Despite still having at least one more home game, it was a wonderful sendoff and a way to honor all the wonderful work the ladies had put in both this year and years past.

“It just doesn’t feel real,” Siple said, “Everyone has been so sweet and they were all saying to win this one for the seniors, so it was great.”

Fossil started things strong, jumping out to a big lead early in the first at 9-3. The Sabercats held onto that lead, defeating the Lobos 25-20 in the first set.

It was more of the same for most of the second set, as Fossil Ridge led 24-22 late. But Rocky bounced back, scoring four straight points to steal the set away from the Sabercats 26-24.

Fossil held another large lead in the third set, ahead at one point 13-7. This time the Sabercats kept the momentum rolling, taking the third set 25-18.

The resilient Lobos didn’t quit, jumping out to a large 7-2 lead early on. Fossil Ridge continued to fight back, including tying the game at 22. Rocky Mountain was able to fight off the late rally, scoring three straight points, winning the set 25-22 and leading to a fifth and final set.

A big factor from the game was the dueling student sections, as both fan bases showed up for such an important city matchup. This was the largest combined student turnout for a game since Fossil’s loss against Windsor. However, that experience against Windsor gave the Sabercats plenty to learn from.

“It was obviously really stressful…I think we got in our own heads a little bit, but we were able to pull it together,” Siple said.

The final set was similar to the rest, as the teams went back and forth up until the last point. Rocky Mountain held a 14-13 lead late with the potential to win. Fossil Ridge bounced back with three straight points, capped off with a huge kill from Siple to win the final set 16-14.

With this massive win the Sabercats moved to 10-1 and into first place in the Front Range League, and completed the clean sweep against other three Fort Collins teams, winning the city for the third consecutive season.

“It meant a lot, especially since we knew a lot of the girls on the other side of the court, so it meant a lot that we pulled it out,” Siple said.

The Sabercats will move ahead to their Front Range League Crossovers next week against a pair of teams to be determined. Afterwards things don’t get easier as their next test will be the regional tournament.

“I think we are looking forward to just seeing how far we can go,” Siple said. “I know we have a really good team this year and I think we can make it to state.”