Playing through: Clyncke, Huskies sweep Summit
That’s a good win
Let it never be said that sports don’t have a sense of karma.
Battle Mountain volleyball beat Summit, 25-19, 25-16, 25-23, on Thursday night with all three set points coming from a McKenzie Clyncke swing.
Not a coincidence.
Clyncke’s father passed away on Tuesday, and the Battle Mountain senior is dealing with the tragedy — at least, for now — by playing through the season.
“I think it’s easier to keep playing,” Clyncke said. “It’s an escape from what happened. I don’t have to think as much. My dad would want me to go out there and try my hardest and leave everything out there.”
She and the Huskies did on Thursday night. It was visible on points Clyncke served. With one of her serves during the second set, all six Huskies, including Clyncke, hit the floor trying to save the point. Battle Mountain didn’t win that one, but it was clear that the squad was trying to pick up their mate.
And, yes, Clyncke said that she could feel that support from her teammates during the match.
It was also audible. Even with a limited COVID-19 crowd, all dutifully wearing masks, the cheers were just louder when Clyncke swung. One could see and hear the regulars of the Huskies’ faithful clapping and yelling a bit harder.
“It’s one of the best parts of leading a group of young women who want to learn how to become great teammates, to serve each other when the other needs it” Huskies coach Shelby Crummer said. “Physically, we showed up. Emotionally, we showed up. We were able to compartmentalize the issues we faced. This week has obviously been heart-breaking. It’s so enlightening to see how the girls show up and play the game they love.”
Under normal circumstances, Clyncke had a very solid game, knocking down most of her swings with gusto when she rotated in front. When she subbed in on the back row, she served well, inclduing a nice run that helped the Huskies take the lead during the third set. Given the conditions, she was superb.
“It’s definitely my escape from reality,” Clyncke said. “If I could do one thing 24/7, I would play volleyball.”
As for the Huskies, as a whole, they clearly are crisper than they were a week ago in their opener. They are 3-0 overall and 1-0 in the Slope. So far, the schedule hasn’t been overly challenging, but that has a way of changing. The Huskies are at Eagle Valley on Saturday for a roughly 1 p.m. start.
That said, coach Crummer was pleased with how her squad played Thursday night, particularly early in the match.
“That first set, our connections and timing and holistic approach to the game all came to the front,” Crummer said “Every skill a player has is a measure of time and interaction with each other. New teams take time. Every team takes time.”