Eagle Valley Devils volleyball takes down Summit County in three sets
GYPSUM — Eagle Valley volleyball senior Jillian Byron is having a pretty good week.
She verbally committed to continue her studies and play at Fort Lewis College on Tuesday, Sept. 26. And then she and the Devils knocked off Summit County, 25-17, 25-19, 25-22, on Thursday, Sept. 28. And we hear that they have a pretty big game when Glenwood Springs comes to town this weekend.
“Great. I’m super-excited and so much stress is gone,” Byron said.
And when you think about it, what’s more stressful, dealing with college applications or putting yourself in front of a screaming spike as the Devils’ libero?
“It’s really fun actually,” Byron said of her defensive duties. “I love reading the ball. It takes a lot of mental power not to overthink things.”
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On an evening when Eagle Valley (9-4 overall and 6-0 in the 4A Slope) wasn’t as sharp as usual, players such as Byron, Haley Carpenter and Sydney Manzanares right the ship.
Byron not only helps on defense digging and filling the holes on the blocks, but is the team’s head cheerleader, high-fiving everyone on the bench and on the floor. (She also leads the team in song during game breaks and timeouts.)
“I love being happy and making sure everyone is pumped up,” she said. “I feel like that is part of my role on my team. We need to stay pumped and in a good positive mood.”
Byron does seem like she’s shot out of a canon, that or she drinks 18 cups of coffee daily.
“Maybe 19 or 20.” Devils coach Jackie Rindy joked.
Here comes Glenwood
Because of errors, the Devils trailed the Tigers (3-9, 0-6) during both the second and third sets. Emma Lassa got Eagle Valley going early. Becy Glutova took over as the match progressed.
And Byron knows what it’s like to be on the receiving end of those two. She gets to face them every day in practice.
“They provide a lot of power and it really prepares me for games,” Byron said.
And the Devils have a huge one coming up on Saturday, Sept. 30, when Glenwood Springs comes calling. The Devils lead Glenwood and Palisade — both are 4-1 in the league — in the chase for the Slope title.
“We’ve (scouted Glenwood) a couple of times,” Rindy said. “We’re pretty prepared and it’s going to be a good match.”
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, email@example.com and @cfreud.