Demons sweep Bears in rivalry matchup
In a storied rivalry matchup Saturday afternoon inside Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium at Glenwood Springs High School between the Glenwood girl’s volleyball team and the visiting Rifle Bears, the Demons continued their push towards a possible 4A Western Slope League championship and a 4A stat playoff berth under first-year head coach Kehau Rust, topping the rival Bears in straight sets by scores of 25-14, 25-13 and 25-21.
The last meeting between the two rivals on Sept. 14, the Demons emerged with a three-set sweep, so Glenwood looked to cap off the regular season with a perfect mark against the rival Bears. They did just that thanks to Saturday’s sweep behind terrific play from senior hitter Tye Wedhorn, senior hitter Mary Fuller, senior libero Maddie Bolitho and sophomore Emily Nilsson, as well as the return from injury of junior Ashley Emery.
Against the Bears in the first set, Glenwood stormed out to a 5-1 lead as senior Saylor Warren picked up two serving aces, while Wedhorn came through with two thunderous kills, forcing a Rifle timeout.
Coming out of the break, Rifle junior Rose Mastrud got the Bears going with a kill before Wedhorn answered with a perfectly-placed tip over the Rifle defense for a point.
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An ace from Rifle senior Rylee Wisniewski and a tip from Mastrud made it 13-10 Glenwood midway through the match, but Fuller came through for the Demons in a big spot with a tip and a big block at the net, extending the Glenwood lead to 15-12.
Wedhorn added another kill late in the to give the Demons a 19-12 lead before a net violation on Rifle and a kill from Fuller gave the Demons a 25-14 win in the first set.
In the second set, Rifle found its footing offensively, racing out to a 4-2 lead thanks to repeated net violations by Glenwood and an ace from senior Eve Miller. Trailing by two early in the second, Glenwood found its stride offensively as a tip from Wedhorn tied the set at 5-5, before kills from Fuller and senior setter Kassidi Johnson allowed the Demons to pull away for a convincing 25-13 win in the second set.
Looking to cap off the sweep for the season over Rifle, the Demons came out strong in the third set a Wedhorn recorded a booming kill, while junior Baylee Johnson added an ace for the Demons, but from there the Demons got sloppy, allowing the Bears back into the set.
A combination block from senior Alexis Dormio and senior Jessie Pressler pulled the Bears to within four at 13-9 before a block from senior Shalynn Smith made it 13-10 Glenwood.
Pressler then tipped a shot over the Glenwood defense to make it 13-11 before another combination block from Pressler and junior Kyla Gray made it 15-14 Glenwood.
Later in the set, Mastrud came through with a serving ace for the Bears to tie the set at 20-20, forcing a Glenwood timeout.
“I told them in the timeout late in the third set that if they didn’t pull it together they were going to lose,” Glenwood head coach Kehau Rust said. “There was a lot of high school attitude in that timeout with girls arguing about stuff on the court, but they really came together in that quick break, and that shows a lot about our team. We subbed in some girls to change things up to make a difference, and I think that really did it for us.”
Coming out of the quick break, Glenwood went on a 5-1 run to win the set, sweeping the Bears to keep their league championship aspirations alive.
With the win, Glenwood improves to 12-2 (6-2 4A WSL) on the season. The Demons kick off homecoming week on Tuesday with a matchup with the visiting Eagle Valley Devils at 6:30 p.m. inside Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium.
After dropping two straight games last week, the Demons are back on track and pushing towards the league championship.
“Our goal is to get that three-way tie for first place in the league,” Rust said. “The two teams we dropped to [Palisade and Eagle Valley] were on the road, so we get a chance to play both of them at home for homecoming and senior night. It’s big games for these girls, so our goal is to really show them who we are.”
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Kuba Bartnik and AJ Adams will leave a legacy at Glenwood Springs that’s hard to match after both signed to run and jump collegiately.