Bring on the awards
DENVER – Got hardware?Battle Mountain volleyball’s collection is growing quickly. Just one day after collecting the most important award of all – the state title – more awards came rolling in Sunday.Britney Brown, Sofia Lindroth, Nicole Penwill and Crystin Rodrick were all named to next Sunday’s CHSAA All-State Game. Huskies head coach Brian Doyon will be coaching one of those all-star teams.The Denver Post named Lindroth and Rodrick to its All-State-Tournament Team with Lindroth garnering the MVP honors. The Rocky Mountain News tapped Brown as its tourney MVP. Western Slope coaches voted Rodrick as Player of the Year, Doyon Coach of the Year and a slew of Huskies to the all-league team.”It’s a huge reward for the team. From my starting seven to my players of the bench, it was a huge team effort,” Doyon said. “The 13 girls I had on the team put in a lot of hard work, and this is a reflection of their hard work. We don’t get too far if we don’t have everybody.”
Befitting a team that went 30-1 and won the school’s first state title in volleyball, the Huskies are draped in postseason honors. Devon Abbott, Brown, Lindroth, Penwill and Rodrick made the all-league team. Sydney Nichols and Kori Landauer were honorable mentions.And the Huskies aren’t done yet. The Post and the Rocky have not put out their all-state teams.A civil warWhen Brown, Lindroth, Penwill, Rodrick and Doyon assemble for the All-State Game, things are definitely going to have a different look. The Huskies’ quartet of players will be split up, meaning that they’ll see each other on the other side of the net and Doyon coaching against some of them.”I’s going to be fun coaching against them,” Doyon said. “When you know your players as well as you do after coaching them for four years, you know the things they can and cannot do. It’s going to be a lot of fun coaching against them and all the other all-stars.”
“Tell him that he’s going down,” joked Rodrick.However the Huskies are divided, it’s going to be interesting to see the possibilities. Rodrick might go up for an attack and find Lindroth waiting there for a block. Brown and Penwill, who have worked together so well all season on their block, could end up on opposite sides of the net, not to mention the fact that Brown has been setting the aforementioned three all year.This is not without precedent, though. The Huskies meet up against each other in club play.”I’ve played against them in club,” Rodrick said. “It’s fun when you know somebody on the opposite side of the net. You can say, ‘Hey, nice job,’ and actually mean it. It’s fun to play somebody you know. I’m really excited to see them this weekend.”And after the pressure cooker of state, a get-together of the best of 4A appeals to Penwill.
“I’ve never been to an all-state game and it sounds like a neat experience to play on a team with girls from all over the state,” she said “State volleyball was super competitive. Now we get to have fun with a bunch of talented players.”Coaches of the yearAs the Slope Coach of the Year and an all-state game coach, Doyon defers credit quickly.”It’s a nice feather to have in your cap, but great coaches are made out of great athletes,” Doyon said. “We get the rewards because of the great work they do.”Doyon was eager to spread the credit among assistant coaches Karl and Lisa Talcott and Ines Barcenas.
“He’s a great coach,” Brown said. “He puts in the time and effort in practice to get us where we are. Karl and Lisa also contribute so to the team that it made it an amazing experience.””They are so passionate about the game,” Penwill said. “They have truly enjoyed working with us and we have enjoyed working with them. They are so into seeing us grow as young athletes. They wanted it as much as we did.”All-league or all-Huskies?Rodrick got the nod as the Slope’s top player. She went out of her way to say that the award could have gone to her other teammates.
“Crystin is an all-around player from attacking to defense,” Doyon said. “You saw (Saturday) against Mountain View a lot of points went through her hands. As an attacker nobody could touch her. Then as a defensive player her serve-receive is phenomenal.”Brown was a no-brainer for all-league. The rest of the state learned that one the hard way at the Denver Coliseum.”Everybody said in the coaches’ meeting – 1A through 5A – and that Britney is the best setter in any division,” Doyon said.Lindroth and Penwill are no surprise. Penwill, as a middle blocker, had a .415 hitting percentage, a stunningly steady season. Lindroth complemented Rodrick on the other side of the front line, giving teams major headaches on where to put the block. She also showed her defensive chops with a high passing percentage and good dig numbers.Abbott blossomed in her junior year at middle block. Though all-league voting took place three weeks ago, her performance at state, especially against Sterling, was mere confirmation of fans at Eagle-Vail already know.Nichols and Landauer – if this is beginning to sound like the Huskies’ starting lineup, that’s because it is – picked up honorable mentions. Nichols was a part of Battle Mountain’s seemingly never-ending stream of offense. Landauer’s selection was especially gratifying because offense generally gets the nod when it comes to all-league.
Landauer, along with Kendra Havlik, Allie O’Connor and Alexa Corcoran, were often overlooked in Battle Mountain’s state title march. But every magnificent attack or kill has to start in back.”It’s a great nod for Kori,” Doyon said. “There’s a reason we kept four defensive players. We always had someone back there doing a great job. At state they showed why they’re back there. I’m a firm believer that defense wins championships.”Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or email@example.com.Vail, Colorado