Huskies spikers ready for Devils
EAGLE-VAIL – The scheduling gods have smiled upon local sports fan for today’s action.Eagle Valley soccer couldn’t get the lights to work at the Fairgrounds, so the Devils’ encounter with Battle Mountain has been moved from 6 p.m. to 4 p.m.That means you can get a double dose of Devils-Huskies or Huskies-Devils action – depending on your loyalties – today. Soccer’s at 4 p.m. at the Fairgrounds and volleyball follows at 6:30 p.m. in Eagle-Vail.
Battle Mountain volleyball enters with a very strong 2-1 nonconference mark. The Huskies shave shown that they can eat with the big dogs, despite being one of the smaller and younger teams in the state at 4A.Battle Mountain showed that by knocking off Greeley Central in five sets, 20-25, 25-14, 25-16, 21-25, 15-5, on the road Friday night.”They’re determined,” Huskies coach Brian Doyon said. “They’re playing as a group from the subs to the starters. Everyone’s playing a role. It was a good win. We had a lot of pressure after we lost the first game. We won the next two games. They pushed us in the fourth. We knew the last game would be a dogfight. The girls came out and played hard. We were up, 10-2, in Game 5.”And, the Huskies cruised home from there. Crystin Rodrick led the Huskies with 11 kills, while Jenna Tjossem added six. Nichole Lindroth served up a team-high 29 assists. The passing was solid as well with Nicole Penwill coming up with 22 digs, while Tjossem had 17.
“It definitely gives us confidence,” senior Tjossem said. “I read in the paper that 4A was going to be one the hardest divisions to play in for high school. I think our first two games were great. We were really fired up for them. I think that was an auspicious start to our season.”The Huskies continued with their tough nonconference schedule with a three-set loss (26-24, 25-19, 25-22) at Buena Vista Tuesday night. Battle Mountain was up, 23-18, in the first game but three passes over the net undermined its momentum and the Demons went on to win the game and the match.”If you look at that team, they probably had three players that were close to 6 feet,” Doyon said. “They had two very strong outside hitters with a lot of talent, a lot of power. I think they’re going to be the sleeper team of the year. Not a lot of people know about them, but they’re going to do well.”Rodrick led the Huskies with nine kills, while Sofia Lindroth and Casey Gilbert had six. Another positive was that the Huskies had just three serving errors against the Demons.
The whole idea of playing teams like Summit, Greeley Central, Buena Vista and Grand Junction Central on Saturday is to beef up for the 4A Slope. And, the Slope starts tonight with none other than Eagle Valley.No pep talks will be needed for this one. Doubtless, the Huskies will have their eyes on outside hitter Kenzie Shreeve, but they can’t be too focused on the Devils’ senior. In last year’s game, it was tips from over the net from other players which did in the Huskies.”I don’t think we approach it any differently,” Doyon said. “It’s the same thing we have to do for every team. Everybody’s got big hitters in our league. We’re probably the only team in the whole league that’s a contender who doesn’t have a player over 6 feet. “So, we have to prepare for everybody the same way. We have to make sure we get the balls up on defense. All of our passes are to the setter, so that we can run the offense that we have. We have to move our smaller hitters around bigger blockers all the time. That’s our game plan all the time.”
Then, there’s the motivation of losing Tuesday to Buena Vista.”The loss gave us a wake-up call that we don’t want to feel that way after losing,” Nichole Lindroth said. “So, we always want to have the winning feeling.”Chris Freud is the sports editor of the Vail Daily. He can be reached at (970) 949-0555, ext. 614, or via email@example.com.