In a Tuesday match between two teams with primary colors of red and orange, there was an uncommon number of purple shirts in the Montrose High School gymnasium.
The Lady Indians volleyball team hosted the Grand Junction Tigers for the Go Purple match to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease.
Purple could be seen in the stands as fans wore shirts with the color, and balloons were hung on the railing. Additionally, the line judges sported purple and so did their flags.
Montrose coach Shane Forrest and her staff were also donning the color while a few of the players wore purple socks.
The display of support hit home for Forrest and seniors Macy Boulden and Hadley Greiner.
Forrest’s brother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2016, which made her step down as head coach for a season.
“It’s nice to see that support because people came out to not just see some volleyball but support a really important cause,” said Forrest.
Greiner’s maternal uncle has had the brain disease for three years, while Boulden’s neighbor also has Alzheimer’s.
“It’s really hard to see such a great man slowly degenerate,” Greiner said, adding she considers her family “lucky” because he’s still doing well.
Greiner said even though her uncle lives in Oregon, the family still keeps in contact; in fact, he’s coming to visit her soon and just missed the game.
Boulden said matches like Tuesday night’s show just how critical it is to raise the issues like Alzheimer’s.
“I’m glad that we brought awareness to it,” Boulden said.
The Lady Indians raised awareness in a match that also showed them off in peak form. Montrose (11-3; 3-1 in Southwestern League) put on a show, sweeping Grand Junction (6-11; 1-3 in SWL): 25-15, 25-20, 25-11.
Madison Satterly led the way with 13 kills while Caraline Burwell had six and Taylor Foster added six to go along with eight digs and four aces.
Greiner got it done on the defensive end with 20 digs, Ashlyn Manuel collected 11 and Madi Matoush and Isabel Stollsteimer had nine.
Forrest praised her players’ chemistry and performance, saying they came into the game “hyped up.”
“They were excited. You could tell because the energy was positive,” said Forrest. “... They just clicked.”
The only “hiccup” came in the second set, the Montrose coach added.
Grand Junction led during the early stages of the game before Montrose led at 10-9 and never trailed again.
The Lady Indians’ biggest lead of the set came to five at 17-12, thanks to a Satterly kill. This point also made the Tigers call a timeout and regain their composure.
It worked as Grand Junction went on an 8-3 run to tie the set at 20-all.
But the visiting team didn’t get another point. Montrose rattled off three-straight points with the last one coming from a kill by Burwell.
This forced the Tigers to use their final timeout of the set but this time the stoppage didn’t help. The Lady Indians got the last two points of the second game, coming off of a pair of Tigers errors.
The third set was all Montrose as the hosts led for the majority of the game with the match-point coming off a Foster kill.
The Lady Indians will move from one heartfelt contest to another one, as they’ll have Senior Night, at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, against Delta.
Forrest said this is “an emotional week” as Montrose will celebrate its seven seniors before the match.
Andrew Kiser is the Montrose Daily Press’ sports/business writer. Follow him on Twitter @andrew_kpress.