EDWARDS — Delta tried to put up a block against Battle Mountain volleyball Thursday night, but, by and large, couldn’t.
That led to a lot of Mac attacks from Mackenzie Ellison and other productive things from players including LaRose Currie, Emily Clinton and Tesha Olson, which unfortunately don’t rhyme with anything.
“I’m going to have to work on that,” Huskies coach Jason Fitzgerald said, while trying to think up a rhyme, but hitting the mother lode of Berman-isms for his team. “Maddie Perkins is the Percolator. Emily Clinton is George Clinton and the P-Funk All Stars. LaRose Currie is Hot and Spicy Curry.”
It is fine to have fun when you’re riding a seven-game winning streak, including a 25-18, 25-21, 25-9 pounding of Delta for Homecoming, Battle Mountain’s first win over the Panthers during Fitzgerald’s tenure.
“It’s awesome,” said Currie, who did, indeed, light up the court with some hot stuff. “We haven’t beat them in my four years, so we all knew that this is the year. We’re just all excited to pull it off.”
While no one in the Huskies camp is printing up state-tournament sweatshirts yet, things are percolating for Battle Mountain. After eight games in each of the past three years, the Huskies were 3-5 at this point in the season. A record of 7-1 overall and 5-0 in the 4A Slope would be much better.
Currie said that a major motivation for the team this season is not going back to losing ways. She should know. She saw considerable playing time her freshman year when the team was 5-12.
“I think all of us senior girls, because we’ve all been through it, enjoy the game, but are working hard to do all we can do,” Currie said.
Battle Mountain’s defense continued to shine Thursday, especially during the third set. Huskies libero Alexis Medina served up 10-straight points with Delta unable to return the ball at times. When the Panthers did, the Huskies sent it back with great force.
“My girls had me off the bench and excited,” Fitzgerald joked.
The Huskies are also getting more players in, which is good to get players rest, but there’s also an added benefit. The ladies off the bench are getting experience and showing they can play, too. That becomes a helpful club in the bag if the Huskies get to a point in the season when someone’s sick or gets injured. (Remember, Eagle Valley in 2010 lost a key player in the semifinals. It can happen.)
Battle Mountain is at Steamboat Springs on Tuesday to complete its first turn through the Slope. That means teams will start to make adjustments. Having a player like Clinton bring the funk or the Jordan Brandts and Olsons of the world will help.
“I think it’s no surprise that LaRose Currie and Mackenzie Ellison are two strong hitters for us,” Fitzgerald said. “I anticipate teams camping out more blocking against them and their defense. It’s the nice part of the year for us. We’re a little more diverse. So I think people will key on our outside hitters more, but our diversity is our strength.”
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 and firstname.lastname@example.org.