Savoring a volleyball title
We start by clearing something up quickly. There was a rumor floating around the Denver Coliseum that I would shave my head if Battle Mountain won state. No way. Not happening. Don’t even go there.With that important business out of the way, a look back on the state champs:- The classiest moment of the tournament took place out of sight of the Coliseum crowd. After the Huskies won state against Mountain View, accepted their trophy and celebrated, they went into the staging area underneath the stands. The Huskies continued to whoop it up until they saw the defeated Mountain Lions not far by. The Huskies collectively stopped their celebration, not wanting to dance in front of them. The coaching staff wasn’t there. It was a decision by the team to be gracious in victory. That showed maturity beyond the Huskies’ young years.- There was some head scratching as to why the Huskies dropped form No. 2 in the polls, a spot they’d held all season, to fourth in the tournament. Bad call by CHSAA. Sterling and Battle Mountain held serve in keeping their top two spots in the rankings, respectively, with their play all year. That having been said, there’s no better way to teach CHSAA a lesson by knocking off No. 1 Sterling, No. 2 Cheyenne Mountain and No. 3 Mountain View in one day in nine games. Thank you for coming. Please drive home safely.- My only beef with the seeding was that the Huskies and Sterling met in pool play, and not in the finals. Saturday morning’s round-robin finale was the title game. Yes, the Huskies won in three, but at 25-23, 25-22, 25-22, that was a tremendous game. The sheer athleticism displayed by both teams was something to watch. When Crystin Rodrick is hitting her attacks at full power, they are simply not returned. At times, they did come over the net. If you didn’t like that match, you don’t like sports.
– Great comment by Huskies assistant coach Karl Talcott after Sterling: “These girls have another gear.” And how.- My worry after Sterling was a letdown by the Huskies. You’re so pumped up to beat the team that knocked you out last year, you’re bound to be a little off for the next game. The Huskies faithful understandably suffered from that syndrome, but the team showed no ill-effects. The Huskies made the No. 2 team in the state look bad in the semifinals. That’s the extra gear of which Talcott was speaking.- By the way, Coliseum time is 3:50 p.m., as I write this. Coliseum time? The Barn on Brighton is not exactly Madison Square Garden.- Another sign of this team’s poise was that it had to wait five hours between the semifinals and the finals. While I as a reporter appreciate this – plenty of time to write my story, get food, reload on caffeine, and chat with fellow reporters from around the state – that couldn’t have been easy on the Huskies. No problem.- I want it noted that I wrote one story with the Huskies winning state and one with them losing state before the championship game. You don’t want to jinx a team by writing only the winning one.- That’s about all the credit I can take for this. Kudos to head coach Brian Doyon and assistants Karl and Lisa Talcott and Ines Barcenas. They had the state field scouted to a T. Doyon has downplayed his postseason honors, but I’ll toot the coaches’ respective horns. Yes, this was an immensely talented squad. However, dealing with the state-title-or-bust mentality and maintaining the team’s high quality of play throughout the season is an immense accomplishment.
– I’m sorry, but this is too easy. Two years ago, some people wanted Doyon out. Any takers now? I think not.- As for the players, awesome. I’ve talked about a lot of the usual suspects this year. Let’s single out some others because this team was so deep. Britney Brown goes on a college trip earlier this year and in comes Alexis Corcoran. Same thing with Nicole Penwill, and in come Jennifer Thul and Sarah Simmons. In both games, the Huskies still roll.- Let’s not forget Simmons serving the Huskies to a 25-0 win against Jefferson. I’ve seen a few 15-0s with Vail Mountain when we were using sideout scoring, but 25-0? – Kori Landauer and Kendra Havlik. I’ve covered their older brothers Travis (football and track) and Cavan (soccer and hockey), respectively, and both were tough customers. These two are carbon copies. Landauer and Havlik, not to mention Allie O’Connor and Corcoran, just throw themselves down on the court to dig incredible shots without regard for their bodies. These ladies have no fear.- And you think I forgot Annie Marcum defensively? I just loved how Marcum went in on the back and Mountain View served right at her, sensing a weakness. The Mountain Lions tried twice and Marcum coolly passed the ball to start the attack. Nice try.- OK, I lied about the usual suspects. The Rocky Mountain News came out with its All-Tournament Team. Brown was the MVP, as reported Monday. She’s joined by Sofia Lindroth and Penwill. One question though? Where the heck is Rodrick? Hello?
– When I asked Doyon how he wanted to celebrate winning a state title, he said, “I haven’t gotten much sleep recently, so I’m going to take a nap.” As of 4:58 p.m. Coliseum time Monday, he still hasn’t gotten his nap. Good night, Brian, and to the Huskies, sleep the sleep of champions.Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or email@example.com. Vail Daily, Vail Colorado CO