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Demons back on winning track

Joelle MilholmGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Post Independent/Kelley Cox
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Chelsea Vallario’s arm might be sore today.If so, it’s probably because she wound up and slammed down 18 top-speed kills on Thursday night, helping the Glenwood Springs volleyball team to a 3-1 (25-21, 25-13, 19-25, 25-14) win over Palisade.Vallario wasn’t the only one attacking the net with fury, as Kelsie Hert added 12 kills and three blocks and Toni Gottschalck added another 10 kills, three aces and three blocks.

“That is what we have been working on for the last two weeks, really,” said Glenwood head coach Scott Nykerk of his team’s aggressiveness. “Everyone is hitting harder now, and it is going to play off.”The win was big for the Demons not only because it came on homecoming night, but also because it snapped a four-match losing streak.”Today, all day, during school and everything, we kept our attitudes up and just really focused because we have been struggling like crazy lately,” Vallario said. “Especially with homecoming, posters, our parents helping out, everyone helping pick us back up and so today we decided we were going to play for each other. … That’s what we did today, and it was so much fun.”They succeeded despite a one-hour delay caused by an epic junior varsity match, in which Palisade won game one 37-35 on its way to a 2-1 victory.

Before the match started the Demons had to stay busy to keep focused.”It was definitely a mental thing,” Vallario said of the long wait. “We had to make sure that we kept ourselves up and we had to go outside and play a game and we were just trying to stay together as a team.”Whatever the Demons did worked, as Glenwood (5-4 Class 4A Western Slope League, 9-5 overall) came out ready to go right away, taking games one and two.Palisade (3-5 WSL, 6-7 overall), led by Brittney Schmitt with eight kills and Bernadette Pitre with seven kills and four blocks in the match, then came back in game three. Pitre blocked three kills late in the game to nail down the win.



“Game three showed that we have the ability to play and be successful, but we need to be able to do it in games one and two and four and five,” said Palisade head coach Wendy MacAskill. “I was kinda disappointed in our inconsistencies tonight.”Then Gottschalck blocked Palisade’s first few kills, helping give Glenwood and early lead and momentum to put the match away.”We showed consistency,” Nykerk said of the Demons. “That is what we have been lacking the last four matches is a consistent level of play.”Glenwood will have the weekend off before returning to the court to face the Bears in Rifle on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.


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