Districts have familiar feel for Huskies | VailDaily.com

Districts have familiar feel for Huskies

BMVB one-big KA 09-30-08

EAGLE-VAIL ” Hello again.

Battle Mountain volleyball will face some familiar foes Saturday at the District 8 Tournament in Highlands Ranch as the postseason begins.

The host is Rock Canyon, whom the Huskies have met during their run of hosting districts. The No. 2 seed is none other than Montrose, which Battle Mountain defeated in its season opener. While the Huskies are the No. 3 team in the field, No. 4 just happens to be league opponent Palisade.

“I think that’s an advantage for our play,” Huskies setter Erin Barker said. “We know what to expect. We won’t get thrown off by new things they throw out.”

The top-two teams who make Saturday’s championship game at 2:30 p.m. advance to regionals, so the Huskies will have to get by Harrison and Montrose to qualify for cross-over matches at 1 p.m. to keep their season going.

Quick start

Play starts at 8:30 a.m., and the Huskies take on Harrison in the second match of the day, which should be at approximately 9:30 a.m. (We issue our annual disclaimer that your mileage may vary when it comes to the timing of postseason volleyball.)

The Panthers finished eighth in the Colorado Springs Metro Conference and had an overall record of 7-12. The key for the Huskies against Harrison will be a quick start. Losing the first match in pool play is not a good way to start a postseason tournament as the Huskies discovered last year.

Fifty-one weeks ago, the Huskies did just that at regionals by losing to Montrose before rallying for two wins to make state. This year, the Huskies and Indians meet at districts (roughly 11 a.m.), marking their third match in one year.

Battle Mountain got some revenge for the regional loss by winning at Montrose in the season-opener. Containing the Indians’ middle block will be critical.

“That’s going to be the tough part ” either containing their middle blocks or putting enough pressure on them that we keep them out of system,” Battle Mountain coach Brian Doyon said. “If we can keep our middle blocks moving around and make them chase our hitters we’re going to be much better off.”

“I think it will be a really evenly-played match,” Baker said. “We played them really tough in the first match of the season and we’ve both grown. I think that it’s whoever’s grown the most over the season will win that game.”

Palisade again?

The top two-teams from each three-team pools advance to cross-overs. The Huskies would ideally like to win their group so that if things go to form, Battle Mountain would face Palisade instead of Rock Canyon. Rock Canyon went 13-6 this year, having played in the 5A Centennial League.

Whatever happens, the focus remains on Battle Mountain’s side of the court.

“I think it’s getting mentally ready,” Doyon said. “The skills, we’re not going to change anything now in the next few days. The big thing is getting them mentally aware of what’s going to happen. We want to have hard battles.”

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or cfreud@vaildaily.com.

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