Huskies volleyball off to Best of the West
EAGLE-VAIL – The Battle Mountain volleyball team hopes to play five games in one day at Saturday’s Best of the West Tournament in Moffat County.
The Huskies should be up to it, given their preseason regiment.
“We go once a day for about three or four hours, each day,” new coach Brian Doyon said. “The practices have been pretty difficult for the girls, a lot of conditioning work early on. And, we’re still doing conditioning work throughout the season. Half the practices have been conditioning and the other half volleyball to get them into volleyball-shape. They’re working real hard.”
Thus, begins the Doyon Era. He’s fourth coach in as many years for the program, one in desperate need of stability and wins.
“For a smaller school, it’s tough to battle with the bigger schools, always,” Doyon said. “I think it’s more so on the girls shoulders. They’re winners. They want to come out here to win. They know what it’s like to win. They know what winning’s about. It’s just getting them in the situations that allow them to get to that point.
“I think as far as the school and its instability, hopefully, we can change that and get some more consistency in the program.”
The Huskies have some familiar and new faces for 2003. The middle hitters are senior and co-captain, Skylar Hand, Meagan Reigel, Jenna Tjossem and Jenna Hughes. On the outside, look for Candyce Rodrick, Casey Gilbert, Maggie Sheehan and Amy Oliver. Sheehan and Oliver are both seniors.
The team’s setters are led by the team’s other senior co-captain, Jodi Fleishman. Nichole Lindroth and freshman Crystin Rodrick will also see plenty of playing time, especially under the new rally-scoring system. More on that later.
Rounding out the squad are the team’s defensive specialists – Jessie Provest and Erin Armitage.
With the Huskies being a little short compared to the rest of the 4A Slope’s teams, look for Battle Mountain to respond with a lot of hustle and defense.
“I’ll guarantee that the girls know how to play defense and play it well,” Doyon said. “The girls have dedicated themselves to some hard work and that will pay off on the court – being able to move, working on agility. Things like that will help them move to get the ball.”
And with 13 players on the roster, the Huskies have some good depth, which will be helpful with the aforementioned, new scoring system. In rally play, every play’s a point. It’s best-of-five, with the first four games going to 25 points and the fifth and deciding game going to 15.
“It should favor teams with deeper benches when it gets later into the game, even when if you’re going 25 every game,” Doyon said. “You should be able to have fresh girls going into the game every time. I’m carrying a lot of girls to give a lot of girls experience and to be able to have that freedom to sub and put girls in who are having a big night.”
Extra spikes: The Huskies are in Pool B of the Best of the West. The Huskies face Hayden at 8 a.m., North Park at 10 a.m., and Hotchkiss at 1 p.m. … In Pool A, the Vail Mountain School faces Moffat at 8 a.m., Delta at 11 a.m., and Aspen at 1 p.m. … There will be crossover play for both the championship and consolation brackets. .. In the tournament, the format will be best-of-three, rally scoring. … Battle Mountain’s home opener is Sept. 4 against Summit.
Chris Freud is the sports editor for the Vail Daily. Contact him at (970) 949-0555, ext. 614 or by e-mail at email@example.com.