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Glenwood defeats Bear spikers in four

Joelle Milholm
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

RIFLE ” All year long, the Rifle volleyball team has been playing hard and improving and coming close to its first Class 4A Western Slope League win.

So on Tuesday, Bears’ head coach Geneva Farr did something a little different to pump her girls up for a WSL showdown between rival Glenwood.

“We did a little motivational thing. They karate chopped some boards in half today, Farr said, holding a big stack of snapped-in-half, 1⁄2-inch wide wooden boards. “I brought it to the locker room today and said there is not a team in this league that we cannot beat, and they just need to step up to the plate and take ownership, and they did.”



After breaking the boards in half, the Bears were fired up and ready to play the Demons. While Glenwood came away with the 3-1 (25-12, 24-26, 25-21, 25-22) victory, Rifle won a game, only its second in WSL play all season, and even had leads in each game.

Rifle sure did look ready to go to start the match, with adrenaline pumping from the motivational trick Farr learned while playing volleyball at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. That, mixed in with a rivalry, got Rifle into game one, where it trailed only 22-21 before falling 25-21.



“Both times we played them this year, they play really scrappy, they play good defense and not a lot hits the floor over there,” said Glenwood head coach Scott Nykerk of Rifle. “You have to earn your points against them.”

Rifle evened up the match in game two, however, using a 6-0 early run to go up 14-7. The Demons fought back to tie the game at 24 before the Bears won, sending players of Rifle’s bench as well as Rifle fans to their feet in celebration.

“It was amazing. It feels even better against Glenwood,” said Rifle’s Sandy Samson. “We were definitely digging a lot of balls.”

While games three and four were close, Glenwood’s attack led by 10 kills from Chelsea Vallario and eight each from Toni Gottschalck and Billie McCauley, proved too strong for the Bears.

“We can’t complain about a win,” Nykerk said of Glenwood. “We started pretty strong. We had a lot of kills, everything was clicking and it was the same pattern ” when both teams get out of system, we don’t control the ball well and that is what happened in the middle.”

The win was big for Glenwood (5-5 WSL, 9-6 overall) who needed to bounce back from a 3-1 loss to Delta on Saturday. With two tough games in a row, being at Steamboat on Thursday and hosting Moffat County on Saturday, Glenwood needed to bring in some momentum.

“We know we can play well with Steamboat, we just have to get ready to do it. We usually play well up there,” Nykerk said. “And Moffat really got us the first time, now we owe them. We are going to have to show up this time.”

Rifle (0-10 WSL, 4-12 overall) will face the same teams, but travel to Moffat County on Thursday and host Steamboat Springs on Saturday. With a top-notch performance by Abby Rath, who had seven kills, and six kills apiece coming from Samson, Brianna Bascom, who also had four blocks, Abbey Schmidt and Kalli Leigh, the Bears are hoping they will be able to add a win.

“I respect that team over there, their girls are awesome,” Farr said of Glenwood. “But tonight I am hoping that Glenwood can spread rumors that we are a pretty decent team. We are just not winning the ball games.”


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