Off to Pueblo, the Huskies go
EAGLE-VAIL ” The goal is getting lofty for a Battle Mountain volleyball team whom in some eyes was merely a shell of last year’s state champions.
A state appearance was considered a given for the 2006 Huskies. The 2007 edition at 20-2 seems to be on course as the No. 5 seed ” whether one agrees with that assessment or not ” going into Saturday’s 4A Region D Tournament at Pueblo West.
“Absolutely, got to set those high goals,” Huskies setter Alexa Corcoran said. “I think we’re more than ready to go to state.”
It will not be easy for the Huskies, though. They have a monstrous road trip down Interstate 25. In the region are the South Central champions, Pueblo West (22-1), the Jeffco champs, Ralston Valley (15-7), and Montrose (15-8) which finished third in the 5A Southwest League.
As for being ranked fifth, as opposed to taking one of the top-four seeds and hosting Saturday, the Huskies are over it.
“We still have to win. There are no ifs ands or buts about it,” Huskies coach Brian Doyon said. “We’ve still got to play our best volleyball and continue to do the things we need to do to be successful. It’s not based on home court. Nobody has home court at state.”
As such, the Huskies have moved practice to the auxiliary gym for new surroundings. The team leaves at 9 a.m. today with a stop in Denver for lunch. The team plans to get to Pueblo West for a regular practice, and start the tournament at 8 a.m. Saturday.
Montrose ” 8 a.m.
Results of note: at Moffat County, W, 3-2, vs. Pueblo West, L 2-0 (at Liberty Tournament), at Fruita Monument, w 3-0, vs. Grand Junction Central, L 3-1, at Grand Junction Central, W 3-2, vs. Fruita Monument, W 3-1, vs. Delta, W 3-0, vs. Steamboat Springs, W 3-0, (districts), vs. Moffat, W 3-2, (districts).
The Huskies begin at 8 a.m. with the Indians. Four of Montrose’s losses came in the 5A Southwestern League. The Indians split with Central, which Battle Mountain beat 3-2 back in September. The Indians also swept Fruita Monument, another 5A which the Huskies beat this year.
Battle Mountain’s 3-1 record against 5A schools should put them in good stead. The key will be a quick start. While seedings are a somewhat touchy subject in Battle Mountain’s camp, the Huskies want to beat lower-seeded Montrose and Ralston Valley to have a state berth in its pocket before facing Pueblo West in its own gym.
Montrose does have the distinction of having to travel even father than Battle Mountain.
Ralston Valley ” 10:45 a.m.
Result of note: vs. Summit, 3-0.
The Mustangs were 6-7 outside of Jeffco, which included a 3-0 loss to No. 3 Mountain View in the district final. This likely is a game where Battle Mountain uses its experience of postseasons past.
“You learn more every year, and I’m learning so much every time I step on the court because I’m out there all time,” Corcoran said. “I’m really thankful for being on this team last year, even though I didn’t get a lot of playing time.”
Pueblo West ” 2:45 p.m.
Result of note: vs. Montrose, W 2-0 (At Elizabeth Tournament).
The Cyclones and Huskies met last year at 2-0 in the Region D Tournament last year with Battle Mountain winning, 3-0, in Eagle-Vail. Doubtless, both teams hope for a similar situation coming into this year’s match.
Pueblo West operated out of a 6-2 offense from the left last year. Doyon expects a much-more conventional look from the Cyclones this year.
The Cyclones’ only loss of this season came to Pueblo South on Sept. 27. Pueblo West, however entered the final game of Region D last year with a 25-0 mark, lost to the Huskies and went 0-3 at state.
As with all postseason games, the times listed are estimations. The tournament starts with Battle Mountain-Montrose at 8 a.m., and rolls from there. … Huskies right-side hitter Kori Landauer is day-to-day after a post-concussion test Thursday. Doyon will still take it lightly with Landauer. If she is not able to go, Rebecca Hughes will fill in for her in front and Cara Murbach will sub in during the back-row rotation. “The girls adjusted fine last week (at districts),” Doyon said. “They were able to make adjustments on the fly.” … This is Battle Mountain’s third-consecutive appearance in regionals in as many years. The Huskies sport a 5-1 record. … No other 4A Slope team advanced to this weekend’s play.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.