Demon spikers too much for Bears
RIFLE – This was one time where the intensity of a Glenwood-Rifle volleyball match had a feel-good aura among both teams at the end.
Alicia Hays returned to the court for the Demons after sitting out the last two games with a knee injury, and her presence, along with 10 kills, led Glenwood (8-1 in the Western Slope League, 13-1 overall) to a 2-0 (15-6, 15-9) win Tuesday night.
The win boosts the Demons’ second-place lead to a full game over third-place Palisade.
And with three games left in the league season, the victory keeps Glenwood’s hopes alive of grabbing the WSL flag away from Steamboat Springs.
Heading into Tuesday’s match, the Demons were one game back of the Sailors in the loss column.
But, this might also be the night that Rifle (1-9, 1-13) has been waiting for all season.
The Bears, arguably, played it’s best match of the year against the Class 4A, No. 7-ranked Demons.
“I thought (we) played really well tonight,” said Rifle coach Victoria DiGuglielmo. “Any time you can score a point or two, get a lead and play with a team like Glenwood, it shows the caliber and quality of our players and where we can play on a regular basis.”
After losing the first game 15-6, Rifle took a one-point lead midway into the second game before falling 15-9.
Playing with less crispness than they showed in the first game, Glenwood struggled to a 5-3 early advantage in the second game.
Service aces by Amber Sutherland and Carolyn Carver, plus Hays’ timely kill, gave the Demons the lead, which they promptly squandered when they failed to maintain serve.
Taking advantage of Glenwood’s sloppy play, Rifle took it’s only lead of the night at 8-7 when Alex Rabb carried the ball trying to control a shot off the Demon side of the net.
“I think it was our own fault we did bad at the end,” Hays said of the team’s problems in the second game. “A lot of us we’re making silly errors, then we came around at the end.”
Glenwood coach Michelle Guillot said she, “wasn’t worried,” during the match. What concerned the coach the most was Rifle controlled the tempo of the match throughout most of the second game.
“We let (Rifle) slow our natural game down. We normally play at a much faster pace,” Guillot said. “We have a tendency to play to the team we’re playing against. If that team plays a slower game, we play a slower game – we’re going to work on keeping everything fast.”
An unforced error gave Glenwood the ball back. And, given a second chance, the Demons rapidly finished the match.
With Sutherland serving, Glenwood reeled off four straight points to regain the lead and won by scoring eight of the game’s final nine points.
The Demons conclude it’s regular season home schedule Thursday night against WSL foe Battle Mountain. The Bears have a pair of non-league contests against Class 3A teams the rest of the week. On Thursday, Rifle travels to Basalt, then faces Hotchkiss at home on Saturday.
In junior varsity action, Glenwood defeated Rifle in15-3, 15-8. The Glenwood freshmen remained perfect on the season with a 15-2, 15-12 sweep of the Bears.
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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.