Huskies bounce back, bounce Summit County
EDWARDS — As far as Battle Mountain volleyball is concerned, Tuesday’s loss to Vail Christian will now be referred to as “the match that will never be spoken of again.”
The Huskies got the good ship lollipop going in the right direction again, taking down Summit County, 25-21, 25-18, 15-25, 25-14, on Thursday night in Edwards to up their league record to 2-1.
Not surprisingly after the unforced-error-apalooza of Tuesday, Thursday was all about fundamentals.
“It happened to us last week,” junior middle-blocker Timaree McKenny. “We lost to Delta and came back against Palisade. We just came together and clicked. We’ve been working on our energy and talking together on the court and supporting everyone.”
And thus, Huskies coach Jason Fitzgerald’s head did not spontaneously combust, which would have been bad because there are many games left this season.
“We definitely enjoy the rollercoaster,” Fitzgerald joked. “It was nice. Summit’s a substantial team with good size. We had to play fundamental defense and limit our errors tonight.”
Defense comes in many forms. One is blocking at the net. McKenny, coming back from a right-ankle sprain, was in fine form on that front.
“It’s the best feeling ever,” McKenny said of blocks.
There’s also sheer hustle. In the pivotal fourth game, senior Ashley Weaver went to floor to pick up a vicious Tigers’ strike leading to a key point. Senior Abby Davidson also had her moments in that stanza defensively.
Earlier in the fourth set, Lilly DeMuth got the Huskies going with some excellent serving. McKenny denied another one at the net. Of course it doesn’t hurt when Jordan Brandt gets going.
Valentina Montenegro was also big at the net and then served Battle Mountain out to the final points.
The following theme will likely get boring, but it’s true. Every game in the 4A Slope is going to be critical. No team will run away with it.
“Summit is going to be in the thick of it,” Fitzgerald said. “For us to be in the fight in the league is super-important for us. We take every league game with extra importance.”
Fitzgerald also had an eye to the north on Thursday with Eagle Valley facing Steamboat Springs: “Fascinated to see how that one turns out.”
Eagle Valley won to take the outright Slope lead at 3-0, Coach.
Battle Mountain hosts Rifle on Saturday.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.