Vail Valley preps: Huskies drop league opener
Vail, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Kiley Stevens and her Glenwood Springs volleyball teammates didn’t want to roll the dice on a fifth game. With Battle Mountain charging back from a 2-0 hole, momentum was on the Huskies’ side.
So the Demons did something about it.
After trailing the bulk of the fourth game, Glenwood went on a 6-1 run to close out a 27-25, 25-14, 17-25, 25-23 win over Battle Mountain on Thursday.
And the Demons were happy to wrap it up in four.
“We always take it to a fifth game and we don’t want to go that far this year,” said Stevens, a senior. “We had a hard time with our intensity last year and, this year, we’re just trying to keep it going.”
Lapses in intensity did indeed plague the Demons on Thursday. So did big-hitting senior Krista Norris, whose 16 kills kept her opponents on their toes and sparked a Battle Mountain comeback.
After losing an emotional opening game that featured 10 tie counts, Glenwood rolled its way through Game 2. Strings of errors kept the Huskies from sustaining any kind of momentum.
“We started off, I think, a little bit shocked,” Battle Mountain coach Lara Bossow said. “We were a little bit nervous. We have some young freshmen. We have a young team overall. I think that they were caught on their heels a little bit.”
The Huskies pulled it together in the third game, jumping out to an 11-6 lead. Glenwood rallied to within three (19-16) but got no closer.
With Battle Mountain taking six of the fourth game’s first seven points, a Game 5 appeared imminent. A long service streak by Cayla Bluhm – one that spanned eight points – delivered the Huskies a 12-8 lead.
Even after she left the line, the lead grew, peaking at 17-11.
“They played hard,” Bossow said. “They played well. We had some amazing servers. Cayla Bluhm went on a very long streak to bring us back. That was helpful.”
Glenwood turned it around, though.
Chipping away, the Demons cut it to 20-19. The Huskies put the next two points on the board, taking advantage of a Glenwood error and then getting a block from Jayna Horn.
Then came a kill from Glenwood’s Lexie Warkentin, followed by kill from Cassidy Gaddis, a Battle Mountain attack error and another kill by Warkentin.
All of a sudden, the Demons had a 23-22 lead, an advantage they would not relinquish. Warkentin’s powerful swings were a big reason why.
“Lexie Warkentin has a very high spirit,” Stevens said. “That kind of picked us up off our feet. She’s definitely a lifesaver.”
Warkentin finished with six kills for the Demons. Abby Russell had a team-high nine.
LaRose Currie had nine kills for the Huskies, who also got 23 assists from Horn.
“Battle Mountain’s always tough,” Glenwood coach Sarah Ryan said. “They’re scrappy. They always have those one or two players who can pound the ball.”
Ryan’s team improved to 6-0 overall and to 1-0 in the 4A Slope with the win. The Demons host Eagle Valley at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
Battle Mountain, now 2-3 overall and 0-1 in league, hosts Fruita Monument at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.