Glenwood volleyball falls to Palisade

Jaymin Kanzer
For the Post Independent
Glenwood senior Rilyn Goluba serves against Palisade.
Jaymin Kanzer/Post Independent

We are a little over halfway into the 2023 Glenwood Springs Demons varsity volleyball season, as 12 games have been played and 10 remain. The Demons hosted the impressive Palisade Bulldogs on Thursday night for their fifth league matchup.

Despite a hard-fought battle, the Demons fell 3-0.

It was the first time this season that the two teams faced each other, but it won’t be the last. Glenwood v. Palisade highlights the schedule twice more before the end of the season. 

The gym was packed for the highly anticipated matchup, but jitters may have slowed the Demons down in the first set. They fell to 17-8 before clicking as a team. Glenwood battled back, scoring nine points, but it wasn’t enough as the Bulldogs took the first set 25-17. 

Glenwood, now with the weight of the crowd behind them, flew off the bench with a burst of adrenaline. The game went back and forth until the scoreboard read 14-14 when the Bulldogs went on a 9-3 run and took the second set 25-17 again. 

The Demons showed their resiliency going into the third set. Already down 2-0, Glenwood controlled the final set nearly the whole way through. The scoreboard read 18-18 with the whole crowd on their feet. That’s when, again, Palisade ran away with it. They went on a 6-0 run to bring the game to match point. The Demons resiliency was the only thing keeping them in the game, as they kept fighting until the last point 25-20.

Glenwood senior Bailey Winder celebrates a point.
Jaymin Kanzer/Post Independent

The Demons came out of the gate a little sluggish. After winning the first game of their season during the Demon Invitation Tournament, they ended up splitting the four games played, then fell to the Battle Mountain Huskies in their first league game of the year. The girls went 2-3 over their first five games, contrasting last year’s team. The 2022 Lady Demons didn’t lose their third until their 12th game.

Glenwood did an excellent job of turning it around quickly. After splitting the first four games of their season, the Demons went on a six-game heater. They won back-to-back league games against Steamboat and Summit before traveling to Lincoln High School for the Splitter Invitational Tournament. Glenwood played all four games of the tournament last Saturday, 

“We have to use this game as fuel,” Demons Head Coach Brittani Chilson said. “They are really hungry, and they should be. They are competing with such a good team, and this should make them hungry.

“To know they can fight with such a good team, it should keep showing in everything we do. In practice, in the weight room, in everything.”

The Demons swept the Splitter Invitational for the second consecutive year, building momentum while going 4-0. The tournament couldn’t have come at a better time for the 4-3 Demons, who walked out of the weekend 8-3. 

The Bulldogs, undefeated in league play, lead the Western Slope League 4A class. The Bulldogs sit comfortably in the top 10 teams in Colorado’s 4A class, ranking ninth. Their impressive season doesn’t stop there. Out of every high school team in Colorado, Palisade ranks 18th. Their only two losses have come at the hands of No. 16 Fort Collins and No. 3 Lutheran (Parker.) Their impressive rank practically guarantees them a spot in the playoffs. 

Glenwood cheer squad performs at home Thursday.
Jaymin Kanzer/Post Independent

Glenwood is also fighting for a playoff spot. They are doing all they can to stay on the hunt as the top 24 4A teams will make the postseason dance. 

With two games a week for the next four weeks, plenty of volleyball remains to be played. The Demons stay home to face the Huskies for the second time this season on Tuesday before traveling to Summit to face the Tigers next Thursday. 

“[To make the playoffs] We have to stay together as a team,” Chilison said. “We have to keep our eyes focused on a common goal.”

The Bulldogs look to continue their dominant season as they trek through the mountains to Steamboat to play the Skiers on Saturday, then head home to host the Huskies a week from Thursday. 

The season is only picking up steam. The Demons still have five league games, while the Bulldogs have six. There is still much to be decided, and the standings are far from being set in stone.

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