Demons can’t get by Sterling |

Demons can’t get by Sterling

Phil Sandoval
Post Independent Staff

DENVER ” It takes a lot of wins to reach the semifinals of the state volleyball tournament.

In Glenwood Springs’ case, it took 30 victories to reach that plateau. The 2003 Demons can bask in that accomplishment, but the bitterness of the season’s lone loss, coming in the Class 4A state semifinals against Sterling, may take a while to wear off.

Glenwood’s season finale was a nail-biter, but the 3-1 (18-25, 20-25, 25-18, 20-25) win by the Tigers eliminated the Demons from state tournament play and a shot at an undefeated season.

“Sterling came out aggressive and got it done,” said Demon coach Denise Greene. “We came out nervous at the beginning, and we couldn’t get it going.”

That, along with well-placed serves by Tigers’ Randa Beardsley and Carri Brandt led to the 2-0 deficit.

“Sterling was the best serving team we have faced this year,” Greene said. “And when you’re playing against a really good serving team, you can’t get the passing game going.”

Facing elimination going into game three, Glenwood rediscovered the form which led to, up until that point, its undefeated season.

“We started playing more confidently,” Greene said. “And, down 2-0, we gave it everything we had because we had nothing to lose.”

Rallying from the mid-point of game three, the Demons raced to a seven-point win.

Game four was a back-and-forth tussle which featured ties at 11- and 12-all, and neither team holding more than a two-point lead until Sterling pulled away late.

Tiger outside hitter Audrey Starkebaum’s return off a free ball fell in front Leah Hinkey for a 16-14 lead. On the next point, Sterling’s Chelsey Bauder’s return scraped the net, then bounded just over in front of a hustling Amber Sutherland for another point.

A Glenwood error, along with Dani Veal’s spike gave Sterling a 20-14 advantage, forcing Greene to call time out to regroup.

The ploy helped the Demons chop the deficit to four, but, despite a pair of late rallies headed by Sutherland and Hinkey, Glenwood could not get closer.

Sterling got to the brink of winning at 24-17, only to see the Demons score three points.

But Sterling ended the drama on the next play when Demon Leanna Lawson’s block off Sterling’s Kristen Kugler sailed wide of the court.

Glenwood had an easier time in pool play.

The Demons romped through Friday’s matches against Cheyenne Mountain (25-18, 25-22, 25-18) and Lewis-Palmer (25-22, 25-21, 25-21) in three games.

It was the second time in two weeks that Glenwood defeated the Indians.

In Saturday’s final pool-play match against Montezuma-Cortez, the Demons found the regular-season Southwestern League champions a little tougher to break.

Glenwood defeated the Panthers in two tight games, 25-22, 25-23, then lost game three by the same score before rallying for a 25-20 win for a 3-1 match victory.

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