Huskies bounce 5A Fruita in three
EAGLE-VAIL ” It’s 5A Week for Battle Mountain volleyball, and the 4A Huskies got off to a good start Tuesday by downing Fruita Monument, 25-17, 25-12, 25-19.
Next up are road games at 5A Rampart Thursday and Grand Junction Central Saturday.
“It’s going to be a key to our season, how we play,” said Huskies coach Brian Doyon, whose team moved to 2-0. “Just the same as last year, it was done on purpose. Last year, it was really important for us to play Doherty. We lost there. It was an important loss. ‘We aren’t as big of a dog as we think we are.'”
And if you’re wondering, Doherty comes calling Sept. 18.
“This is definitely a good one to start with,” Huskies setter Alexa Corcoran said. “It was definitely a good confidence booster, and now we have seen what pace we really need to play at to play with the 5A teams. I hope we only keep increasing that pace.”
For the visiting 5A Wildcats, Tuesday was important test, facing the defending 4A state champions.
“It is early. We decided to challenge ourselves,” =Fruita coach Amelia Connersaid.. ” … I was thrilled to play them, being the defending 4A state champions. They have a big target on their chest. There’s a reason they won. They had great ball control.”
In their first appearance at home since the regional tournament last November, the Huskies looked very similar, but with new faces in new places.
“I was definitely really, really nervous. I am not going to lie about that,” said Corcoran, who’s the team’s new setter this year. “After warm-ups, we settled down a little bit, so that was good.”
After initial nervousness, Corcoran found that she had plenty of fun options on the attack. Senior middle-blocker Devon Abbott continued to throw them down with five kills on 15 attempts. Jen Thul is adjusting nicely to hew starting job as an outside hitter with 26 attack, four kills and four blocks.
The nice surprises were new additions Anna Padget, a transfer from Glenwood, (16 attacks, seven kills), and sophomore Hannah Ellison (11 attacks, five kills).
“The things we’re working on in practice, we’re starting to see in games,” Doyon said. “That’s really key. Our transition movements, we’re getting better. We’re getting cleaner. That’s going well, and some of the younger players are just getting used to their roles.”
Setter Lindsey Hanke led the Wildcats with 11 assists; Maia Sadler and Brianna True with eight digs each and Kaylee Dollerschell with seven kills.
While Fruita is 1-4 going into Thursday’s nonleague road game at Grand Juntion Central ” the two teams meet three times with the latter two contests being 5A Southwestern matches ” Conner is confident that her charges are going to develop.
“We dug some great shots, fired up some really good hits every now and then,” Conner said. “The name of volleyball is consistency, putting that effort together each and every point. But other than that, playing teams like this is only going to make us stronger for conference.”
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or email@example.com.
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