Demons fend off Rifle in three straight |

Demons fend off Rifle in three straight

Phil Sandoval

What’s good about this year’s Glenwood Springs girls volleyball team is potent enough to control any match it plays in.

The bad thing is the players know it.

That’s what made Tuesday’s match with Rifle baffling to a near-capacity crowd of Demon fans at Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium.

On the way to a 3-0 sweep and ninth straight win, Glenwood, for the most part, controlled the match. But it took longer than expected to put away the pesky Bears.

“We had a big lead at one point in the first game, then we made too many mistakes,” said senior setter Celeste Cashel of the Demons’ early problems.

Glenwood took a 8-0 lead over Rifle (1-7 overall, 1-2 WSL) But the Bears rallied back to take a 17-13 lead at one point before the Demons got serious.

Tessie Tracy pulled Glenwood out of their collective funk by scoring some key points from the service line to regain the lead at 19-18.

Then Amber Sutherland took over.

Her kill to the right corner broke a 20-all tie. Tracy followed the winner up with a service ace and Sutherland closed out game one by scoring the final three points.

The 25-20 win took a lot of the fight out of the Bears, who struggled in the second game.

Rifle was down by as many as 10 points in a 25-16 loss before finding themselves in game three.

Glenwood, opting for a less-experienced lineup, allowed the lead to bouncedback and forth between both teams until the midway point.

A Sutherland spike broke a 13-all tie.

Sutherland led Glenwood’s attack with 10 kills.

Sophomore Leah Hinkey added nine winners and Leanne Lawson had seven kills.

The Bears committed a rotation violation after Sutherland’s play. It led to a four-point Demon lead.

Rifle pulled within two of Glenwood a couple of points later, but never got closer.

“We gave up 18 points tonight,” said Glenwood coach Denise Greene.

“That’s the crazy thing about rally scoring is you can give up that many points.”

Greene said the big problem was her team was overtrying.

“My girls wanted to hit and hit hard and hard,” she said.

“Our passes were perfect, but the hitters were trying to do too much.”

Ahead 21-18, the Demons closed the match, scoring four of the last five points.

Lawson nailed an ace and Hinkey scored three straight winners

“We know when we really need to pull it out,” said Cashel, who finished with a team-high 25 assists in two games. “We have a lot of drive when it comes down to it.”

Glenwood concludes this week’s action at home on Thursday against Battle Mountain.

After few days off, Rifle will play the Huskies on Saturday afternoon in Eagle-Vail.

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