Battle Mountain volleyball sweeps Summit
‘This was a turning point for us,’ says Huskies coach
Special to the Vail Daily
Karol Loera, Delaney Gersbach, Halle Weaver, and Lexi Barthuly spent their sixth hour economics class listening to how the undervalued Corning Incorporated was a great stock option for hopeful investors. They spent their 6 o’clock hour trying to convince the Husky faithful that their balanced, senior-driven core, off to a 1-5 start, was in a similar position.
Tuesday night’s shareholders’ meeting concluded with a confident sweep of Summit High School, 25-13, 25-16, 25-13.
“This was a turning point for us,” said coach Shelby Crummer.
Battle Mountain’s initial public offering was presented by senior Halle Weaver, whose opening set aces set the tone, fired up her teammates and the crowd.
“Halle brings a lot of energy. She brings a lot of spice to the court,” Crummer aptly noted after the game. “When it gets stirred up, it’s usually really good. She brought a lot of aggression and control, and that bred a lot of confidence on the court.”
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The theme being passed around practice all week was one of turning a new leaf.
“At practice we were like, tomorrow is a turning point, tomorrow is a turning point, and tonight was a turning point,” Gersbach said.
After the 9-1 Weaver led-run, the Huskies never looked back, mixing in aggressive hustle with spirited teamwork and serving up efficient bump-set-kill flavors for Gersbach and Claire Ricca. After one statement kill to make it 18-6 in the first set, Ricca held a flexing pose which most certainly sent a few members of the visiting Tiger student section back to their cars early to begin the long and depressing trek over Vail Pass.
After a fantastic hustle play from Summit sophomore outside hitter Ella Snyder to keep the ensuing volley alive, Gersbach delivered a smashing kill to dash the upstart hopes of the stunned Summit squad.
Crummer said the rocky start to the Huskies’ season has not been due to a lack of skill, teamwork or fundamentals, but has had more to do with playing true to their identity.
“Tonight, they played like they practiced,” Crummer noted. “If they are going to continue in their consistent play, they will have to rely on the close cohesion they have established.”
“We are connected more than any team in the league, I guarantee it,” Gersbach beamed.
As for what the rest of the contest looked like, let’s just say the afternoon rainstorm which blanketed Eagle County was a prescient symbol of how the second and third sets would materialize. The senior-laden crew poured it on.
“We can find the difference between the time to rip or swing, and the difference between when to tip and to place the ball,” senior Lexi Barthuly observed.
Down 2-0, Summit came out with a little bit of fire in the third set, opening with the first 3 points before running out to a 5-1 lead. The composure displayed in the harsh environment was encouraging to the visiting crew and coach Lex Zangari, whose team has not been in front of a crowd more than a couple of times in the last 18 months.
“We have to realize we have to over-communicate when it’s a loud gym,” Zagari said. “That’s a tough thing.”
With Weaver back serving, 3 unanswered points led to another runaway set and the Husky’s first home victory of the year.
Tomorrow, the seniors might return to economics class to answer the question of transitory inflation. On Thursday, they’ll set out to prove their team’s rising value is here to stay with a showdown with rival Eagle Valley, which is 7-3 on the year.
“We don’t want to depend on the crowd or the home-court advantage,” said Crummer. “We want to remain playing like us, and what that looks like is staying confident in each other and each gal doing the job needed at the time. And I think they showed that they trust each other tonight.”