Glenwood volleyball splits pair at Demons Invite

Jaymin Kanzer
For the Post Independent
Glenwood Springs seniors Samantha Portillo (2) and Analise Skoric (5) keep their eyes on the ball during a matchup against the Roaring Fork Rams on Friday.
Taylor Cramer/Post Independent

Labor Day weekend is more than just a day off of school for the Glenwood Springs High School volleyball team. They hosted the annual Demon Invitational as their season kicked into gear. 

Seven teams joined the Demons at Glenwood Springs High School to compete in the tournament over the holiday weekend. 

On Friday, the Demons opened their season before an electric home crowd against their county rivals, the Roaring Fork Rams. The first set of the Demons’ season started incredibly strong, going up 21-11 before some jitters kicked in. The Rams and their considerably smaller student section stayed in it, climbing back to 24-21 before Glenwood took the first set. 

Glenwood Springs senior Leyna McGill serves during a matchup against Roaring Fork.
Taylor Cramer/Post Independent

The second set was the complete inverse. Both teams went point for point with each other until the scoreboard read 14-14. The Demons then went on an 11-0 run to win the second set and the game 2-0. 

Glenwood faced off against the Mullen Mustangs next, a much tougher matchup. The Mustangs also drove over the Rams on Friday (2-0.)

In a considerably quieter gym and a much more formidable opponent, the Demons seemingly lost confidence as they dropped the first set 25-15. 

The student section did their best to keep Glenwood in the game, but the Mustangs seemingly had free will over the outcome of the game. Mullen went up 24-10 before the Demons put up their last-ditch effort, putting up six to scare the Mustangs before they put it away. 

The Glenwood Springs volleyball team celebrates during a matchup against the Roaring Fork Rams.
Taylor Cramer/Post Independent

“The team chemistry has really come together,” Senior defensive specialist Zoey Hyatt-Worley said. “Even though we were down in this last game, [the girls] came together and were still typing each other up. We still had each other’s back, and it felt amazing.”

Game stats were not immediately available. 

The Demons had a solid reputation to uphold. Last season, the girls swept their four-game slate to win the round-robin tournament and start the season 4-0. 

It was the first time the Lady Demons went undefeated in the Demon Invitational since their incredible 2017-’18 season, where Glenwood went 19-6 and finished first in the 4A Western Slope division. Of course, every member of today’s roster was in middle school when that happened. 

The Glenwood Springs High School student section celebrates after a point during a volleyball matchup against Roaring Fork High.
Taylor Cramer/Post Independent

After an impressive 4-0 start in 2022, the Demons went 7-3 over their next 10 games while sweeping another tournament. This time, they traveled to Denver to compete in the Lincoln Tournament, beating up teams from the Front Range and winning all five games they played. 

Last season, Glenwood’s Achilles Heel was in the 4A Western Slope division. The Demons had a tough time against league opponents, finishing below .500 in the matchups. It only shows how strong the Western Slope was last season, as all six teams made the 36-team divisional round playoff. 

Roaring Fork junior Erica Crownhart stays focused during a matchup against Glenwood Springs.
Taylor Cramer/Post Independent

The Demons lost three seniors after their heartbreaking playoff defeat last November, forcing new members to step into a more significant leadership role. 

“I do feel a little bit of leadership now that I am a senior, but leadership doesn’t come from one person. It comes from all of us,” Hyatt-Worley said. “We have three sophomores on the team, and they are leading me just as much as I lead them.”

The Demons split their first two games of the season. They have two more games in the Demon Invitational before traveling to Battle Mountain to play their first league matchup against the Huskies on Tuesday.

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