Devils top Huskies in four on Senior Day
GYPSUM — That is the full package for a Senior Day — lowers, gifts, hugs, a win over their archrival and sending the league standings to NASA’s super computer.
Eagle Valley volleyball made it so with 25-16, 21-25, 25-12, 25-20 victory over Battle Mountain on Saturday in Gypsum.
“It’s just funny as a freshman, you see all the seniors graduating, and then the day comes,” Eagle Valley senior Haley Collier said. “Holy cow. I never thought that would happen.”
And it was a happy Senior Day for Collier, Taylor Sandoval, Devon Green, Carlee Morrison, Melanie Grayson and Nicole Mejia, primarily because the Devils avenged an early-season loss to the Huskies. There’s also the bigger picture.
“I had them all when they were on JV my first year,” Devils coach Lindsey Myers said. “It’s kind of like they’re my first crop going through. It’s even sweeter to know that they are still honoring Garrett (La Force) to this day. That’s really special.”
Just another game?
Coach Myers wanted the Devils to approach Battle Mountain like they would any other squad, which brings up an interesting question — is that possible? One completely understands Myers’ thinking. The crowds are bigger, the schools ate abuzz and everyone knows everyone on the court, but it still remains a volleyball match, one (or two) in a string of 14 league tilts.
But is it really? Players in every sport in every season look for this matchup when the schedule comes out. The emotions do run higher. Can it be classified as just another match?
The winners write history, so yep, that was just another match.
“I don’t think they let it get their heads as much,” Myers said. “They knew they had to win for themselves, their seniors, not because it was a rivalry.”
Eagle Valley (14-7 overall, 9-3 in the Slope) won this with a simple, yet very effective strategy. Libero Devon Green seemed to dig everything. Molly Jewitt and Sandoval set it up and Morrison, Kylie Martin and Becy Glutova hit the snot out of the ball.
“We’ve got two more matches to worry about,” Huskies coach Jason Fitzgerald said. “We knew this would be tough in their gym. They did what they needed to do. We started the season with the mindset that we had to be competitive in the league. We feel we are.”
Anyone have a clue?
And that brings us to the soup that is the 4A slope standings. Steamboat Springs is 10-2, with Delta at 10-3. The Devils and Huskies sit at 9-3 going into the final week of the regular season.
Eagle Valley is at Rifle on Tuesday and at Glenwood Springs at Thursday. Battle Mountain hosts Glenwood on Tuesday and Steamboat on Thursday, the latter being huge.
Delta finishes at Palisade on Thursday. Steamboat hosts Summit on Tuesday and then heads to Edwards.
How does this end?
“It’s all over the place,” Green said. “I’ve been trying to predict what’s going on, but I have no idea.”
That is telling because the players themselves know their league better than anyone else. There is the possibility, if the Huskies can beat the Sailors, that everyone ends up in a four-way tie at 9-3. In that case it goes to set-percentage in the matches played among the four teams against each other.
On thing is for sure, though.
“I think the Front Range is going to be surprised when we bring some Western Slope teams down there,” Myers said of the postseason.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.