Demons romp past Bears in rivalry matchup
Three days after cracking the Colorado High School Activities Association’s 4A top 10, the Glenwood Springs Demons’ girls volleyball team went on the road Thursday night into a hostile environment at Rifle High School against the Bears and rolled to a three-set sweep inside Jack Smith Gymnasium by scores of 25-10, 25-11 and 25-11 to improve to 8-0 on the season.
On a night where both student sections were fired up and entertaining with their chants, the Demons were able to focus in on the task at hand, quickly dispatching the Bears in a 4A Western Slope League matchup.
“We knew the crowd was going to be rowdy,” Glenwood Head Coach Kehau Rust said. “We knew that from previous years, so I told the girls to use the chants — whether they’re for you or against you — as fire and let it fuel you.”
That showed quickly as Glenwood raced out to an 8-1 lead in the first set behind kills from junior Baylee Johnson, senior Tye Wedhorn and senior Mary Fuller, forcing the Bears to call a quick timeout.
Out of the break, Rifle picked up a kill by senior Shalynn Smith to get the Bears going, but a kill by Wedhorn, a block by senior Saylor Warren and another kill by Wedhorn made it 14-4 Glenwood quickly, causing Rifle head coach Kirsten Noska to call another timeout early in set one.
Down 10 on their home floor, the Bears tried to regroup, but it was all Glenwood down the stretch as Warren picked up a kill of her own before senior Kassidi Johnson added a block and a kill to push Glenwood out to a 20-6 lead in an eventual 25-10 win.
Feeling confident after an impressive first set, the Demons stayed hot in the second set, racing out to a 10-3 lead as Johnson picked up a kill, while Fuller and Wedhorn added kills to counter a block by Rifle junior Rose Mastrud and a kill from senior Dulce Toscano. Holding a 10-3 lead, Glenwood stretched its lead to 16-7 behind kills from Kassidi Johnson and Baylee Johnson, before a perfectly-placed tip by Baylee Johnson gave the Demons a nine-point lead.
Rifle clawed back to 17-9 on kills from Smith and senior Alexis Dormio, but the Demons turned it on late as Wedhorn picked up a block and a kill before senior Maddie Bolitho recorded a serving ace to give the Demons the 25-11 win.
As the two student sections battled it out across the gym between the second and third set, Rifle seemed to find its footing, jumping out to a 9-6 lead behind a combination block from Mastrud and senior Eve Miller, a kill from Smith and a kill from junior Kyla Gray. Trailing by three, the Demons quickly turned it around, going on a 19-2 run to finish off the Bears in the rivalry matchup as Bolitho served 13 straight points down the stretch for the three-set sweep.
“I have really noticed the confidence grow with this group every day,” Rust said. “Every day in practice we’re trying to implement something new, so every game their goal is to run new plays. I’m constantly trying to add new goals to his group and have them hit those goals, and they’re playing confidently right now. It’s fun to watch.”
Against Rifle, Wedhorn led the way with 11 kills. Baylee Johnson added eight kills in the win, while Kassidi Johnson added seven. Bolitho was terrific serving the ball, finishing with eight aces, while chipping in with 12 digs defensively.
With the win, Glenwood improves to 8-0. The Demons will host Steamboat Springs Saturday afternoon inside Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium at noon.
The Bears fall to 2-7 on the season. They’ll take on Basalt Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. inside Jack Smith Gymnasium.
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The brackets are set for the 12-team 4A girls lacrosse state championships, and the Roaring Fork Rams are dancing as the No. 9 seed.