Titans beat Bears in three
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
RIFLE, Colorado – For some reason, Rifle’s volleyball team just can’t seem to piece it all together on its home court.
Coach Erin Reider speculates that it might have something to do with the program’s shaky recent history. For much of the last decade, wins have been few and far between for the Bears.
Although Rifle suffered a 25-11, 25-13, 25-17 loss to Coal Ridge on Tuesday, Rifle is trending in the right direction this fall. The Bears are now 4-5 overall, a huge improvement over years past.
“The history of the program still haunts them, I think, when we’re in this gym,” said Reider, who’s in her third year as head coach. “They just feel that pressure.”
But, Reider says, the 2012 Bears are equipped for a turnaround.
“Of all the groups that deserve it, it’s this group,” she said. “They are mentally tough. They get along very well. They’re very open with one another and are able to call each other out, and they’re able to open up and say, ‘My bad, I was off tonight.'”
On Tuesday, a hard-swinging Coal Ridge team was too much for Reider’s squad to overcome.
The Titans, with all sorts of size and depth, rolled to a 10-1 lead in the opening game. That run featured a long stretch at the service line for sophomore setter Maggie Bell and pretty much set the tone for the quick match.
Coal Ridge’s crisp passing and balanced net attack gave Rifle fits. And it’s a net attack featuring many a weapon.
“We’re not relying on one person to get our kills,” Titans coach Scott Black said. “We’ve got plenty of people to spread it around. That will be helpful later in the season.”
Passing, though, is where Coal Ridge found its groove on Tuesday.
“The biggest thing for us is starting with good passing,” Titans senior Rebecca Mitchell said. “If we get a good pass, we get good kills. So starting with good passing is the most efficient thing we did today.”
Mitchell led the Titans, now 7-2 overall, with seven kills on 14 swings. Britni Allen was 2 for 6 on the attack. Amberly Todd finished with three blocks and Coal Ridge racked up 10 aces as a team.
Abby Orgill, Katelyn Shanahan and Kimmie Rausin swatted three kills apiece for Rifle. Sarah McCutchan had six assists, Annie Schmidt two solo blocks and Leah Antonelli 12 digs.
Up next for the Bears is a Thursday visit from Cedaredge. Coal Ridge hosts Aspen the same night.
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Burning Mountain Park in New Castle will illuminate Saturday evening at the town’s Holiday Tree Lighting and Chili Cook-off between 5 and 7 p.m.