From ‘middle school’ to all-league
EDWARDS, Colorado ” Battle Mountain volleyball got together for a optional preseason camp at Colorado State in Fort Collins, and it was not pretty.
“If you would have seen us at CSU, it was a middle-school team,” Huskies libero Kelsey Plath said.
So it was a testament to how far Battle Mountain came as a team that the Huskies picked up their all-league awards Wednesday night at E-Town at their season-ending banquet.
Huskies coach Brian Doyon proudly handed out first-team honors to Anna Padget-Shields, Kelsey Plath and Hannah Morris and honorable-mention awards to Erin Barker and Sammy Miletich.
“We all pulled together and showed that we are a different team,” Plath said of her team which went 15-7 and finished second in the 4A Slope. “The girls worked hard. Unfortunately, the season ended early, but I’m so proud of all of these girls.”
Padget-Shields transferred from Glenwood Springs to Battle Mountain before the 2007 season, and announced her presence with ferocious hitting. This year, she showed that she is a multi-faceted player, often adding digs and even some setting to her game.
“She’s a very talented athlete,” Doyon said. “She can play pretty much everywhere ” right side, outside, middle.”
Padget-Shields will be playing at the Colorado School of Mines next season.
“It isn’t the awards,” she said. “It’s having played with the team and how much all of them mean to me. I love everyone of them. It’s hard knowing it’s over.”
Plath is first-team because of a old-fashioned work ethic. In the unsung position of libero, Plath has left parts of herself on courts all over the state, diving for balls and starting the transition back to offense.
“She is a great passer,” Doyon said. “She’s had to work very hard to get to where she is. She has really blossomed because she is dedicated to the sport.”
While the future is bright for Battle Mountain volleyball, the program will miss these two.
“I don’t like that question,” Ellison when asked about the duo’s impending graduation. “I’m going to miss those two a lot. I met Anna when I was in eighth grade. I played seventh-grade volleyball with Kelsey. I’ve known them and played with them for a very long time. It’s going to be really hard for me when they’re gone.”
Ellison made the all-league roll for the second year in a row and she’s coming back for her third varsity year next fall.
When you’re following in the footsteps of Battle Mountain’s previous two middle blockers ” Nicole Penwill and Devon Abbott ” there are some serious expectations.
“She’s very talented and very underrated,” Doyon said “She’s also a fun person with a great outlook. I really enjoy that about her.”
The team’s setter, Barker, made honorable mention. Setter is a difficult position in general, and it’s even more difficult when your coach has a tendency to be in your ear a lot.
“Just dealing with me is hard enough,” Doyon said. “I want to the offense run a certain way. I want the ball in a certain place. She’s come a long way. It’s great to have another year with her.”
Doyon will have Miletich for three more years. She was one of only two freshmen on the all-league team along with Eagle Valley’s Alex Lassa. Miletich was also the first freshman to start for Battle Mountain since Crystin Rodrick.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or email@example.com.