Delta’s win knocks Demons out of tournament play
As the teams took the floor for Saturday’s match with Delta the future of Glenwood volleyball was displayed. The only problem: They were still in the present, the 2006 season – not 2007.A 3-1 (26-24, 25-12, 21-25, 25-21) Panthers win caused two events of epic proportions in Class 4A Western Slope volleyball.First, it muddied an already unclear picture of which five teams advance to next week’s district tournament.
Second, the loss knocked the Demons out of the postseason – a crummy ending to a crummy day for Glenwood.”As it’s been all season, today was kind of up and down,” said head coach Scott Nykerk.Nykerk was forced to use an all-underclass lineup – senior starters Heather Smyth and Summer Sherman were relegated to the bench for breaking a school rule. But the youthful Demons performed well in the match opener.Down 14-10 midway in game one, kills from junior Chelsea Vallario and sophomore Toni Gottschalck forced Delta into calling time out when the two Demon spikes narrowed the Panthers’ lead to 19-18.
The rest helped Delta for a couple of points until Kelly Lawson and Gottschalck forced a 24-all tie. Kelsie Hurt’s serve into the net opened the door for the Panthers to win.Hurt, making her first appearance in a varsity game, made up for it later.The junior finished the match as the Demons leader in two categories with 11 kills and eight blocks.”Even before today, I knew she was our future middle hitter,” Nykerk said. “She had a great match.”
As a group, Hunt and her front line teammates all produced great totals. Gottschalck also had eight blocks, plus seven kills. Vallario’s contributions included seven kills, three blocks and two aces. The totals lessened the sting of the 25-12 mauling Delta applied on the Demons in game two, which ended quickly when the Panthers scored 20 of the game’s first 25 points.Rebounding in game three, Glenwood pulled within one of Delta’s lead, on a 10-1 run that gave the Demons a 15-14 lead, followed by a four-point skein, obtained mostly on Panther errors, to earn the win.Outscoring Delta 9-1 to take an eight-point lead gave Glenwood hopes to continue their turnaround in game four.
That dream evaporated almost as quickly as the Demons’ rally.The Panthers nosed ahead when a Lawson return splattered into the net. The play broke a 17-17 tie. It was the final time Glenwood came close. Now, with the majority of the 2006 group slated to return in 2007, Nykerk hopes his regulars continue to improve in the club season.”These players have been around for a while. I hope the ones who become seniors next year become steady, keep improving and keep it at that level.”
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Down 14-7 with less than 11 minutes left in regulation, Rifle head coach Todd Casebier decided it was time to deviate from his ground-and-pound offense for a bit of an aerial attack.