The beat goes on: Huskies win again |

The beat goes on: Huskies win again

BMVB Celebrate PU 10-6 Preston Utley/ From left to right Nicole Penwill, Crystin Rodrick, Britney Brown, and Sofia Lindroth celebrate after the Huskies score a point against Pallisade Thursday in Eagle-Vail.

EAGLE-VAIL – Oh, ye of little faith.Before Thursday night’s Battle Mountain-Palisade volleyball showdown, a Huskies parent predicted a Battle Mountain win in five games. To protect his identity, he will only be known as the father of the Huskies starting setter.”What was he thinking,” said Huskies starting setter Britney Brown with a laugh after Battle Mountain dispatched the defending league champs in three, 25-23, 25-19, 25-23.”He said it was going to take us five. I’m disappointed,” Huskies coach Brian Doyon joked.That’s a season sweep of Palisade and moves the Huskies to 13-1 overall and 9-0 in the 4A Slope. “They’re tough, tough all across the board,” Palisade coach Steve Hellman said. “Every player out there plays really well and I think that’s their strength. They’re solid across the board and play very aggressive.”

StrategyHellman nailed it on the head right there. He tried to have his blockers sit on Crystin Rodrick. Doyon countered by having Brown send it out to Sofia Lindroth. The result? A monster evening from No. 3.Lindroth had 17 kills on 29 attempts, an outstanding ratio. She also had nine digs. When Palisade tried to cheat on the Huskies’ outside hitters, the ball went to the middle where Nicole Penwill was more than happy to put down 10 kills of her own.”That’s a very tough team,” Doyon said. “Until you figure out a strategy to beat them, they’re going to make it tough game. That’s what they did in Game 1 with us. I figure out this is where we need to serve and force them to go and keep it away from (Kaity Edminston). She’s a very dynamic player, very good strong outside.”It took a little while for that to happen. The Huskies fell behind 5-0, 19-14 and 20-15 before mounting a run that would decided the game and essentially end the match.A Lindroth attack followed by a Rodrick ace got the rally going. Sarah Simmons, ever the spark plug off the bench, served up a point and Penwill had a kill, pulling the Huskies to within two at 22-20.Penwill killed another one and Brown went to the line with her team trailing 23-21. Brown was cool as the other side of the pillow. She served off an ace got a kill from Rodrick and a block from Sydney Nichols and the Huskies had stolen Game 1.

“It’s all mental,” Brown said. “You just have to keep focus and just concentrate on getting that ball not only in, but how can you make it difficult for the other team.”No coughing, pleaseThough Rodrick’s been nursing a cold for two weeks and was double-teamed by Palisade, it didn’t stop her from having another strong game.”I was trying not to cough during the (national anthem),” she said.Rodrick delivered the coup de grace in Game 3 with her serving. Down 10-6, No. 7 reeled off nine points, giving Battle Mountain the lead for good. She had plenty of help from her friends. Devon Abbott put down two. Lindroth had four more. Brown had a kill and the Huskies were cruising at 15-10.

The Huskies are already qualified for districts, but Doyon’s looking to bigger and better things.”As I discussed with the girls, we’re doing very well in the league and I’m very happy that we’re doing well, “Doyon said. “But what I need to see now is just steady progress toward the end of the year. Our goal is not these games now, to win them and not do well at the end of the year. It’s to continue to do better everyday and get better and better.”Palisade hosts Eagle Valley Saturday, while Battle Mountain is at Delta. As for who’s going to win those games, just ask Britney’s dad. Sports editor Chris Freud can be reached at 949-0555 or via Vail, Colorado

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