‘Dogs upset Demons in five games
Even though both Palisade and Glenwood Springs entered Thursday night’s game with identical 3-0 league records, few believed Palisade could pull off the upset in the Demons’ home gym.Except, perhaps, the Bulldogs players.Palisade built an early two-game lead and held off a Glenwood rally for a 3-2 (25-19, 26-24, 15-25, 16-25, 15-10) victory in Class 4A Western Slope League volleyball. The win ended Glenwood’s 15-game league unbeaten streak that started in the first game of the 2003 season.”Coming into their gym (and winning) – that’s like, pinch me,” Palisade coach Steve Hellmann said. “Our girls know that every time we step in here they’ve got to play their best.”
Glenwood (3-1 WSL, 8-1 overall) dominated the league in 2003, claiming the league title and advancing to the state semifinal round. The Demons looked on their way to a similar season prior to Thursday, dropping just one game in three league matches.But being so dominant may have hurt Glenwood on Thursday night. The Demons haven’t played a five-game match in over a year, while Palisade has been getting plenty of work in the deciding game.”It was our third five-game match in a row and we said, ‘let’s use that experience,'” Hellmann said. “The game to 15 is a little different.”Glenwood coach Denise Greene agreed that it was a new experience for her squad, as was falling behind 2-0.
Upset: see page A26Still, she said, “The girls need to step up and play. And they did in the third and fourth games. We just have to start earlier.”After clawing their way back from the deficit, the fifth game started tight. Neither team could gain a cushion until a Palisade dink shot broke an 8-all deadlock. Jessica Hellmann, aided by kills from sister Kaela Hellmann and Meagan Bosch served three straight points for a 12-8 Bulldogs advantage before closing out the match.In the first two games the Demons struggled in its passing game. The passing ills and solid defense by the Bulldogs negated some of the power advantage Glenwood had in middle blockers Leanna Lawson and Leah Hinkey. And, while Palisade’s hits weren’t as dramatic as the Demons’ strikes, the Bulldogs balls seemed to find the floor on the Glenwood side. “We both match up our strengths in the middle. It was a battle between those girls,” Hellmann said. “We’re not as powerful as Glenwood, but we worked this week on just finding the spots.”
“(The Bulldogs) are smart and they know where to hit the ball,” Greene added. “It was all in the passing, the serve-receive. Our passing was horrible the first two games.”Despite its troubles, Glenwood had a game point in the second game at 24-23, but a kill by Katie Edmiston – one of her team high 16 kills – evened the score at 24-all and a winner by Kaela Hellmann (15 kills) sealed the game.The Demons came around in the next two games, but Glenwood couldn’t maintain the momentum.”The first couple of games nothing clicked, then we clicked” in the second two games, Greene said.Despite the loss, Hinkey and Lawson finished with identical 20-kill, eight-block nights.• In another Class 4A WSL contest, Delta downed Rifle 3-0 (25-19, 25-14, 25-20) at Rifle.• In another Class 4A WSL contest, Delta downed Rifle 3-0 (25-19, 25-14, 25-20) at Rifle.
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