Huskies spikers upbeat for 2004 |

Huskies spikers upbeat for 2004

From left, Nicole Penwill, Sofia Lindroth, Paige Bennett, Nichole Lindroth, Jenna Tjossem, Crystin Rodrick, Britney Brown, Casey Gilbert, Allie OConnor and Sydney Nichols make up the 2004 edition of Battle Mountain volleyball.

EAGLE-VAIL – Battle Mountain volleyball has a much different look in 2004.The team is smaller in numbers. The team is young. And it’s a mix of old and young – three seniors and seven sophomores.But Battle Mountain coach Brian Doyon thinks he just might have the right mix.”It’s a talented team this year, more so than last year,” the second-year coach said. “We carried 12 (players) last year, and this year we’re carrying 10. Overall, we’re more skilled. At any given time, I can put a player in and have confidence that she will perform at a good, athletic volleyball level.”

That will be necessary for the Huskies in the 2004 4A Slope, which just got a bit stronger with the addition of Eagle Valley.”I think with the addition of Eagle Valley, it’s going to be a very strong league,” Doyon said. “Glenwood will be strong again, and so will Steamboat. Eagle Valley will definitely be there with Kenzie (Shreeve). Moffat should be strong, too. It’s going to be a dogfight.”Key No. 1 for Huskies volleyball will be blending the senior and sophomore classes. The seniors – Nichole Lindroth, Jenna Tjossem and Casey Gilbert – have gone through the rigors of a varsity season or two. They will need to lead the way for a young but very talented group of sophomores – Nicole Penwill, Sofia Lindroth, Paige Bennett, Britney Brown, Crystin Rodrick, Allie O’Connor and Sydney Nichols.Perhaps it’s appropriate that the team’s co-captains are the sophomore Rodrick and the senior Tjossem.

“We have a lot more younger players than older players,” Doyon said. “The sophomores have playing experience on the freshman team or JV, but not at varsity. At that age, young players some days can play outstanding and then the next day not play at the same level they did before. I’m looking for the experienced players to come out and lead by example.”Another key will be size. This is not news to the volleyball faithful in Huskies Nation. Doyon joked that his tallest player is “5-9 with her shoes on.” That means that tenacity and hustle will be the order of the day for Battle Mountain.”It’s always an issue when we go against bigger, stronger teams,” he said. “We’re on the small end of the 4A schools at Battle Mountain. We don’t have a 6-foot-1 player. We’re going to have to be scrappy and fight for all our points.”Despite the challenges ahead, Doyon is really pleased with the effort his team has put in since last season ended.

“The start of a new season always brings opportunities,” Doyon said. “We’re looking forward to getting under way. The girls have worked hard all summer with club volleyball and open gym. They’re looking forward to see where they stack up, to see how it all pays off. They’ve done a lot of work from the end of last season to the beginning of this season.”The Huskies open Sept. 2 at Summit County.Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-949-0555, ext. 614, or

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