Huskies spikers stun Demons | VailDaily.com
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Huskies spikers stun Demons

BM Volley SM 9-30 Shane Macomber/smacomber@vaildaily.com Battle Mountains Nicole Penwill digs up a ball return wile Nichole Lindroth and Crystin Rodrick stand ready during their game agains Glenwood Springs, Thursday at Battle Mountain.
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EAGLE-VAIL – Howl at the moon. The Huskies spikers beat Glenwood Springs for the first time in four years Thursday night in Eagle-Vail, 3-1.”I was very proud of them,” coach Brian Doyon said. “They played a very good game, and they kept everything under control. There really weren’t any players on the team tonight that didn’t play well.”To beat the Demons, one of the perennial powerhouses in the 4A Slope, the Huskies had to lose Game 1, 25-21. Not that they wanted to, Doyon said, but the first-game loss was probably the most important factor in propelling Battle Mountain to wins in the next three frames. A number of unforced errors in that first game, such as netted serves or long kill shots, more than accounted for the Demons four-point victory margin. The Huskies needed to regroup, and once they did, they set out to make Glenwood Springs earn its points instead of having them handed over freely.

“The first game was really tight and I think some of the nerves got to the players a little bit,” Doyon said. “But then after that, they pulled it together and realized that they can compete with this team. Once we calmed down, we stepped up and played well.”The battle plan was this: avoid the Demons’ near-impenetrable middle block, fronted by juniors Leanna Lawson and Leah Hinkey, by setting up from the sides of the net. Setter Nichole Lindroth was the most critical player in the stratagem. The senior was in charge of spotting where Lawson and Hinkey were setting up to block and then propping up her assists elsewhere, so that her hitters’ attempts would have more success.When the Huskies started to outflank the Demons, Glenwood began to get flustered and then subsequently self-destructed losing in the final three games, 25-17, 25-19, 25-14.”They got really frustrated,” Lindroth said.

“I was just thinking of ways for my team to get around them. They weren’t blocking outside as much. They were still blocking, but it wasn’t as effective a block as if we were to hit middle. If we just did that, they’d probably stuff us. We found ways to hit around back and hit away from the middle.”The most important statLindroth led her team with 36 assists total, as well as four aces.Sophomore Crystin Rodrick tallied the most kills against the Demons ringing up nine points coming off 28 attempts.

She wasn’t the only Husky to hound the Demons’ defense. Senior Jenna Tjossem racked up six kills on 23 attempts, Sophia Lindroth laced four kills and Nicole Penwill finished with seven kills on 18 attempts.Sophia Lindroth also finished with 16 digs and Tjossem finished with 14.The biggest stat of the night wasn’t digs or kills or aces, however. It was the reality that Battle Mountain finally beat the Demons, a team that has bullied the Huskies since 2000.None of the players on Battle Mountain’s roster were even in high school the last time the varsity volleyball team accomplished such a feat.

It was also Doyon’s first win against the Demons since taking over the program last year. The importance of the win wasn’t lost on anyone Thursday night, especially Nichole Lindroth who was still buzzing two hours after the game was over. “It feels so good, because last year they beat us in one game like 25-6,” the senior said. “They did their little pump-it-up cheers and they were trying to come back. But, we just really wanted it.”Contact Nate Peterson at 949-0555, ext. 608, or via e-mail at npeterson@vaildaily.com


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