Glenwood takes out Battle Mountain in five
Vail, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Lexie Warkentin couldn’t quite believe her eyes as her game-winning kill touched down.
Not after a night of draining volleys, big comebacks and drastic momentum shifts.
Warkentin’s 11th kill, a tip shot, delivered the sophomore and her Glenwood Springs volleyball teammates a 28-26, 19-25, 25-17, 20-25, 16-14 win over visiting Battle Mountain on Thursday.
“Right before I hit it, I looked for a spot where to go,” said Warkentin, who found a hole just behind the Huskies’ front line. “I saw that opening and dropped it in there. I definitely had to take a second look at what happened.”
And so ended the Demons’ final comeback of the night. The host squad twice battled back from big, late deficits to eke out game wins.
Glenwood had to claw its way back from the brink in the first game, riding the hot hand of program newcomer Kehau Vegas, a senior transfer from Basalt who made her Demon debut on Thursday.
With her team down 24-20, Vegas smacked a pair of aces in sparking a string of five unanswered points. An unreturnable serve by Glenwood’s Leah Mansfield eventually sealed the 28-26 game win.
Battle Mountain stormed right back, though, jumping out to leads of 7-1 and 20-12 en route to a second-game win.
True to the back-and-forth nature of the match, the Demons bounced back to own the third game. Five kills from Warkentin aided the home team’s efforts.
Three kills from Erin Barker and a pair of kills from Sammy Miletich fueled a Huskies comeback in the fourth, a game in which Glenwood went up 10-6 and appeared on its way to victory.
But Battle Mountain roared back, to no surprise of Warkentin.
“Battle Mountain’s a good team,” she said. “They always bring it when they come here. They definitely bring the competition.”
And the Huskies very nearly picked off a road win in the fateful fifth game, rebounding from a 6-2 hole to go up 8-6. They pushed Glenwood to the brink of defeat at 14-11 before the Demons turned the tide one last time.
With Vegas at the service line, the home team rattled off five straight points. A pair of unreturnable serves and two Warkentin kills – the match winner included – propelled Glenwood to the dramatic win.
“This is our home court and we have to defend that,” said Demons coach Amber Sutherland, who was coaching against her former volleyball teammate at the University of Colorado in Lara Bossow. “They have a tough team, a great coach. Ultimately it comes down to who wants it more and who makes the mistakes. It could have gone either way.”
Kenzi Caple and Warkentin led Glenwood (8-2 overall, 3-2 in the 4A Western Slope League) with 11 kills apiece. Vegas had five kills to go along with 25 assists in a debut that caught the eye of her coach.
“She’s used to being on teams that have to compete really hard,” Sutherland said. “This was her first game and you could tell she wanted it really bad.”
Barker led the Huskies (3-7, 2-4) with 11 kills. Miletich finished with eight kills and Jayna Horn had 21 assists.
Thursday marked the second of three Battle Mountain-Glenwood matchups on the schools’ athletic schedules this week.
On Tuesday, Battle Mountain’s boys soccer team edged the host Demons 1-0 in overtime. Tonight, the two schools will square off in football at Stubler Memorial Field.
Eagle Valey 3, Rifle 0
RIFLE – Devils volleyball keeps rolling along, dumping the Bears, 25-16, 25-11, 25-19, Thursday night at Rifle.
Eagle Valley moved to 5-0 in the 4A Slope and 7-2 overall. The Devils host Glewnood Spring Saturday at 1 p.m.