Devils make statement against Bulldogs
GYPSUM — The Lady Devils continue to roll through conference play without dropping a set after shutting out Palisade and handing the Bulldogs their first Western Slope loss on Friday night, 25-11, 25-22, 25-15.
“The goal was to beat them in three,” said senior captain and setter Molly Jewett.
After beating Palisade at the Regis Tournament, 3-2, in non-conference play, the Lady Devils (8-2, 4-0 Western Slope) gain sole possession of first place after beating the Bulldogs (6-5, 3-1) when it counts.
With four shutout wins to start league play, Eagle Valley is looking to keep that goose egg intact.
“We want to beat everyone in three,” said senior captain Kylie Martin.
Eagle Valley coach Jackie Rindy said the team scouted and game planned for Palisade heavily, and it showed as the Bulldogs led in only one of the three games, and only by two points briefly.
WINNING THE NET
A healthy dose of Jewett sets to hitters Martin, Emma Lassa and Becy Glutova led to dominant finishes by the Lady Devils, and strong serving forced errors by Palisade.
Freshman Shelbi Lubbers and sophomore Elyse Fitzpatrick caused problems for the Bulldogs hitters all night, forcing Palisade to get creative around the net.
“We shut down their hitters,” Rindy said. “Our blocking frustrated their hitters tonight, and our girls just found the floor.”
With the score tied 21-21 in the second game, the one Eagle Valley has seen the most trouble with this season, the Lady Devils rattled off four of the next five points to secure the win and 2-0 lead.
Two Jewett-to-Glutova connections and one from Jewett to Lassa helped finish off the second game.
“Our second game has been our weakness, and I think it was again tonight,” Martin said. “So we just need to work on that.”
With Lubbers and Fitzpatrick blocking at the net, Sydney Manzanares, Jillian Byron and the rest of the Lady Devils were diving all over the floor preventing anything from hitting on the back end.
Effective communication and intentionally guarding the lines helped the Lady Devils let many Palisade shots land out of bounds.
“We want to play everything and make sure we follow it to the line,” Jewett said.
In her first year as head coach, Rindy is enjoying the view from the bench.
“They gave me the keys to a Ferrari,” she said.
The Lady Devils look to keep their three-and-out streak going with the next four games on the road, starting with Steamboat Springs today. The rematch in Palisade is set for Oct. 14.
Reporter Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2915 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.