Coal Ridge volleyball rolls to sweep of Olathe |

Coal Ridge volleyball rolls to sweep of Olathe

Mike Vidakovich
Coal Ridge's Kara Morgan rises up for a spike at the net during Saturday's home match against the Olathe Pirates in New Castle.
Theresa Hamilton / Garifeld Re-2

The Coal Ridge volleyball team, under the direction of Head Coach Aimee Gerber, upped their record to 8-4 overall and 4-0 in the 3A Western Slope League with a convincing 25-14, 25-9, 25-17 victory over the Olathe Pirates on Saturday afternoon at Coal Ridge High School.

“Our record is good to this point,” said Gerber following the home win. “But we’re now headed into the tougher part of our league schedule. We lost a couple we should not have lost because of our serving. We’re trying to correct that.”

On the subject of serving, it was the marksmanship of senior Kenzie Crawford from the service line that got the Titans out to a quick 4-0 advantage. The blocking skills at the net of sophomore Taylor Wiescamp helped that lead grow to 9-3, as Wiescamp would prove to be a thorn in the side of the Pirates the entire afternoon. Sophomore middle hitter Brecken Guccini and senior Alexa Wiescamp contributed to the wall of Titan hands at the net that the smaller Pirates had trouble adjusting to. To try and compensate for the strong Coal Ridge play up front, Olathe tried the strategy of hitting the ball high and deep to the Titan backline, but the Pirate efforts produced little success.

Senior outside hitter Kara Morgan blasted a few spikes to the floor for a 13-6 Coal Ridge margin. Olathe did have a brief shining moment in game number one when Maddi Brown got hot with her serves, and the Pirates drew to within 13-10.

That was as close as Olathe would get the rest of the afternoon. Following a timeout by coach Gerber to settle her troops, the Titans would reel off 5 straight points as Morgan got in the groove with her serve, and junior Lyanna Nevarez got in a big spike to get Olathe’s undivided attention.

The second game of the match was even more lopsided than the first, as Crawford again was true at the service line, and Taylor Wiescamp added a kill shot to help Coal Ridge jump out fast at 8-1. Morgan, who possesses a Jordan-like vertical leap, bounced high into the air to score on a deflection off a Pirate defender to make the count 13-2.

Despite the big lead, which grew to 16-3, the Titans stayed focused on defense and kept the gas pedal to the floor on the offensive end as senior Jaelyn Price came in to hit some nice serves to keep Coal Ridge heading in the right direction.

“We have talked about staying steady, and not rising and falling. We want to be the same team every night,” said Gerber.

With junior libero Taylor Roberts anchoring the Coal Ridge defense, the Titans did in the third game what they had done throughout the previous two, jump on Olathe quickly and never let up. A 12-2 lead to start things, ended up being the decisive 25-17 margin of victory that wrapped up the sweep, and kept the Titans in first place in the 3A WSL.

The stat sheet stuffers on the night for Coal Ridge were Morgan with 9 kills and 4 aces. Taylor Wiescamp finished the contest with 9 kills also, and Crawford turned in a stellar all-around performance with 19 assists.

Coal Ridge has some time off before they face a tough road test at Aspen on Tuesday, October 2.

The Skiers are 4-1 (3-0 3A WSL) on the year.

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