No. 5 (!) Huskies spikers cruise past Summit |

No. 5 (!) Huskies spikers cruise past Summit

Shane Macomber/Vail DailyBattle Mountain celebrates another point on the score board at Thursday's season opener against Summit.

EAGLE-VAIL – Battle Mountain volleyball woke up to a bit of a surprise Thursday morning as the Rocky Mountain News tabbed the Huskies as No. 5 in 4A in its preseason rankings.And the Huskies took a small step toward validating that ranking with a convincing 25-16, 25-9, 25-19 sweep of Summit County in the season opener for both teams Thursday night. “I don’t put any weight in preseason rankings. It’s more of jinx,” Huskies coach Brian Doyon said with a laugh. “The nerves were up there. I was nervous. They were nervous. But they came out and played very well. I was very happy with how poised they were, how confident they were and relaxed they were.””It feels really good,” Huskies outside hitter Sydney Nichols said. “I think we had a lot of nerves before we started playing. Once we got going and got in a groove it really worked out.”

Yes, it did and that left Summit with a blueprint of what the Tigers need to work on before their next game against Clear Creek at Farmer’s Korner on Tuesday at 7 p.m.”This is a good way to start,” Summit coach Gary Sorensen said. “Battle Mountain’s obviously a very fine team and they show it in every respect, whether it’s offense or defense. When you play someone like that it points out in a very glaring, clear manner what it is we have to work on. The short end of a long list is that we need some offense and blocking and a little communication.”Battle Mountain did it Thursday night with a steady serving game and tenacious defense at the net. The Huskies’ Crystin Rodrick started pounding down the ball had one of four aces as the Huskies went up 12-6 in the first game. Sofia Lindroth served up three points and Britney Brown added four more and the Huskies were sitting on a 24-11 lead.”One of our goals was serving. All the girls did a very good job,” Doyon said. “I don’t think we started missing serves until that last game. They all did real well. All I asked for them was to challenge each pass and I think they did a good job, each one of them.”

A run of serving from Rodrick essentially decided Game 2. She ripped off seven straight, posting the Huskies to a 15-5 lead. During that run, Nichols put down a thundering kill. Nichols made herself known Thursday night and that’s a great sign for the Huskies. Toss her in with Lindroth, Rodrick Devon Abbott and Nicole Penwill, who had a team-high five kills, as well as setter Brown, and the Huskies look awfully big at the net.”Last year I was playing middle, and this year, Devon (Abbott) and Nicole took over that,” Nichols said. “I think I’m just going to get into my groove out there. I actually enjoy hitting out there a lot more than in the middle.”

Summit did challenge in the third game, tying it at 15, but again it was a Rodrick run from behind the line with some good play from Nichols, Abbott and Lindroth that finished the job.”I don’t think they cashed in their chips at all,” Sorensen said. “I think they kept digging and working. They were just outclassed, but they didn’t quit. They had a couple of runs. They had a tie (at 15). That’s a positive. Now they know the seriousness of what we’re trying to practice.”The Huskies have little time to celebrate. Battle Mountain hosts Greeley Central tonight at 7.”I think we all realize that tomorrow is going to be a lot tougher game and we’re going to focus and really get down to it because we know what we have to do,” Nichols said.

Extra servesBrown led the Huskies with 15 assists. Abbott topped the team with three blocks. … Anicia Santos topped the Tigers with six kills. Teammate Shea Dickey led with nine digs. Rachael Fidkis finished with five assists. … The Battle Mountain football and soccer teams were out in force cheering the Huskies. And that brings us to soccer’s Mike Scigliano, who did not know who was the president in 1875. Hey, Chili’s Baby Back Ribs, who do you think is buried in Grant’s tomb?Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at (970) 949-0555, ext. 614 or via Colorado

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