Huskies get Senior Night with win vs. Sailors
EDWARDS — While everyone readies for tonight’s big Slope volleyball match — Eagle Valley at Palisade — there just might be another team in the race.
Battle Mountain continued to state its case with a 25-19, 25-18, 21-25, 26-24 win against Steamboat Springs on Thursday night in Edwards. The Huskies are 12-4 overall, 6-3 in league, were ranked No. 10 in the rating-percentage index, going into this match, and still play Palisade and Eagle Valley next week.
“We worked hard. Climbing to this point has given us this opportunity,” Huskies coach Jason Fitzgerald said. “We still feel like we want to face tougher and tougher competition everyday, and we’ve got it coming. When we’re on, we competitive with almost anybody.”
And that made for a happy Senior Night for Battle Mountain’s Haley Frischholz, Taylor Keep, Timaree McKenny, Dylan Barker and Sara Sullivan.
“It was really good momentum,” Frischholz said. “We all started off really strong and it was just a really fun match today.”
Steamboat Springs (3-4, 7-10) nearly erased a 2-0 deficit to force a fifth game.
“There’s no problem with the effort,” Sailor coach Wendy Hall said. “We struggled with serve-receive in the first two sets and made a lineup change to help us. … When someone has a tough night, you have to help them out.”
The change was at libero and Steamboat’s Hannah McCreight got the call and buoyed her team’s defense.
“I felt like we made some statements tonight, and showed a little grit, which is nice to see,” Hall said. “We haven’t had that when we’ve struggled, and sometimes, I think you have to put down a ball with some attitude and try to get a little momentum back on our side, and I felt like we did that.”
They did in Game 3, and for most of Game 4, but Hall credited junior Battle Mountain setter Lily DeMuth with doing a terrific job throwing off the Sailors, both running the Huskies offense and tossing in the occasional attack.
Coach Fitzgerald wouldn’t disagree.
“This is really her third year with the varsity team. She started as the setter last year. She really has changed out tempo and given us a new feel. As court quarterback, she’s what we look for. I wouldn’t trade her for anything.”
Big week ahead
It’s a bit early for Senior Night, but Battle Mountain has won 10 in a row, so, maybe, a bow was in order.
“This group has done an amazing job of taking on the role of not only leading this team, but taking on the next generation of the program,” Fitzgerald said. “That’s what we ask of our seniors. I know they can play. I want to see them leave a legacy beyond their year.”
They have that chance with next week’s slate, a home game against Palisade on Tuesday and a trip to Gypsum for Eagle Valley on Thursday.
“I definitely feel like we’re getting a lot of momentum after our really good week last week, and the tournament,” Sullivan said. “I feel like we’re on our way up.”
In the meantime, Steamboat can put its imprint on the Slope chase when it hosts Palisade on Saturday.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, email@example.com and @cfreud.