Bulldogs have no answer for Hinkey, Lawson | PostIndependent.com

Bulldogs have no answer for Hinkey, Lawson

Matt Creer
Special to the Post Independent
Post Independent/Kara K. Pearson

The Glenwood Springs volleyball team gave their fans something to cheer about on Parents’ Night as they rolled past the Palisade Bulldogs 3-1 (25-15, 25-17, 19-25, 25-22) in their final home match of the season.

Glenwood, with the win, moved to 12-1 in the Class 4A Western Slope League (17-1 overall). Palisade fell to 9-4 in the WSL and 14-4 on the year.

The Demons looked untouchable the first two games, jumping out to an early 10-3 lead to start the night. Leah Hinkey and Leanna Lawson were both very effective at the net, almost daring Bulldogs Kaity Edmiston and Meagan Bosch to try to block their spikes. With Glenwood up 19-13 in the first game, Hinkey served five straight points, including four service winners, and Lawson capped off the final two points with a block and spike for the win.

Palisade didn’t seem to have an answer for the Glenwood seniors, backing up on their heels and relinquishing the net. And the second game mirrored the first, as Glenwood continued to play an aggressive, attacking offense to go along with a stout defense. Tobie Rippy and Avery Denney both contributed on the defensive end, digging out many well-placed Palisade shots to keep the ball alive. After the end of the second game, it looked as though the Demons would sweep the Bulldogs in record time.

But Palisade coach Steve Hellmann made some adjustments during the second intermission that kept things interesting.

Instead of challenging the Demon’s front line, Edmiston began to find ways around them, placing the ball softly and effectively into the open spaces.

“Palisade really switched to tipping the ball in the third and fourth games,” said Glenwood coach Scott Nykerk. “Edmiston was hitting it well every time for their team.”

“It was really frustrating,” said Hinkey, “because usually our team puts up a really good block.”

The switch in tactics took Glenwood out of the game for a while, and the Bulldogs capitalized on their chance. They won the third game handily and kept the fourth closer than it probably should have been. The Demons never trailed in the fourth game after going up 3-2, but Palisade came back from a 14-7 deficit to tie it at 18 and traded points with Glenwood down the homestretch.

Still, it was an important night for the Demons, and they finished strong to keep it from going to 5 games. Hinkey figured out the openings and continued to dominate despite Palisade’s adjustments. In four games, she hit 26 unreturnable balls – and that doesn’t include serves.

“It was fun out there,” said Hinkey. “All the Seniors were fired up for this game because it was the last one at home.”

And the crowd appreciated it, drowning the gym with cheers as they watched this volleyball team in Chavez-Spencer gymnasium for the last time.

“This group’s been around for a long time,” said Nykerk. “It was great to see them win at home in a pretty good match.”

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