Demon spikers edge Palisade 15-13, 15-13; Rifle rallies past Huskies |

Demon spikers edge Palisade 15-13, 15-13; Rifle rallies past Huskies

Phil Sandoval

PALISADE – Instead of a knockout blow, Glenwood Springs’ 2-0 win over Palisade Thursday night was more like a technical knockout.

Demon coach Michelle Guillot said, “I was never unsure about us winning, but I’d sure would have like to have seen a bigger point spread,” referring to the 15-13, 15-13 outcome.

It’s true, the Bulldogs never raised much of a concern on the Demon bench, but it certainly wasn’t the momentum builder Guillot was looking for heading into Saturday’s Western Slope League title match at Steamboat Springs.

“The league (schedule) has been easy for us, so it’s been hard to get the girls fired up and get a good win,” Guillot said of the team’s inconsistent play.

“On offense we did OK, but we struggled with our serve-receive tonight,” the coach said.

But, when given the opportunity, the Demons (10-1 WSL, 16-1 overall) took charge offensively.

Outside hitter Amber Sutherland had a game-high 11 kills, the other two frontliners, Leanna Lawson and Alicia Hays added six and five winners, respectively.

And Glenwood’s constant pounding wore Palisade down.

“This was a big match,” said Sutherland. “We needed to win this one so we could play Steamboat for first place.”

The win allows Glenwood the opportunity to snatch the WSL title, and the No. 1 seed at next week’s district tournament, away from the Sailors, who have held sole possession of first place in league since defeating the Demons in an earlier match at Glenwood.

“We’ve got to raise the level of intensity up for Steamboat,” Sutherland added. “We have to show them that we are capable of being the best.”

Rifle 2, Battle Mountain 1

EAGLE-VAIL – Battle Mountain volleyball seemed to be cruising Thursday night against Rifle.

The Huskies won Game 1, 15-13, were leading 14-7 and looking to close out the Bears in Game 2. But as Rifle coach Victoria DiGuglielmo rightly said after the dust had settled, “Volleyball is the momentum game.”

The Bears demonstrated that point by ripping off nine-straight points to take Game 2 and finished off the Huskies in the deciding set 15-11.

“We made a couple of substitutions in there and it just clicked,” DiGuglielmo said. “We got one or two points, and got the momentum back. This is the momentum sport. As soon as we got the momentum back with one or two points, we just started running.”

The turnaround buoyed Rifle’s hopes of avoiding a pig-tail game Tuesday, while it left the Huskies, who have now lost five in row, searching for answers.

Rifle’s Krista Wagstrom served off eight points in a row to ignite the Game-2 comeback. During that run she served an ace, while Montanah Matthies had a kill. The Bears were also opportunistic in capitalizing on Huskies errors.

Rifle plays Delta on Saturday in its regular-season finale.

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