Glenwood spikers topple Rifle |

Glenwood spikers topple Rifle

Jeff Caspersen
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Sean Lively wore his relief in the form of a grin.

“Finally,” he said. “Finally, my girls did it.”

The first-year Glenwood Springs volleyball coach had just watched his Demons knock off Rifle in three straight games, snapping a six-match losing streak with a 25-18, 25-17, 25-15 win.

“I think our team has a lot of ability,” said Lively, whose team had not tasted victory since beating Moffat County at home on Sept. 13. “I think it’s just taking us a season where they get comfortable with the system, comfortable playing for me. I’m new and they’re not used to my coaching style.”

And Lively’s Demons did it with flair.

Kelly Lawson belted eight kills. High-flying Taryn Pearce added seven and Hannah Thimsen swatted five as Glenwood improved to 4-11 overall and to 3-7 in the 4A Western Slope League. Leah Mansfield dug 18 balls, Kiley Stevens had three aces and Toni Gottschalck finished with three blocks.

Lively hopes Tuesday’s win is part of a strong finish to what has been a season that’s been filled with struggle.

“It’s very important to us to finish strong,” he said. “We’re a young team. We’ll have seven returning varsity players next year. We’re only graduating five seniors. … The girls want to finish strong. It’d be a good morale boost for them to show what Glenwood Springs has to offer.”

A strong finish is precisely what propelled the Demons on Tuesday, as the Demons began to run away with the match midway through the opening game.

After watching a 10-6 advantage morph into a 12-all tie in that first game, Glenwood found another gear, taking 13 of the next 19 points to win it.

The Demons went on to put up the first 12 points of the second game and nine of the first 11 in the third game to bury the visiting Bears.

“We just weren’t in it,” Rifle senior Morgan Patrick said. “We were inconsistent.”

Added teammate, and fellow senior, Sandy Samson: “We had a really off game. It wouldn’t have been as bad if we played well and lost, but we didn’t play very well.”

Patrick led the Bears with seven kills, while Samson finished with 12 assists. Kalli Leigh chipped in with 15 digs and eight blocks, while Rachel Keithley and Patrick each dug 11 balls. Adrienne Schmidt added 10 digs for the Bears, who dropped to 7-8 overall and to 2-8 in the 4A WSL.

Next up for Rifle is a Thursday trip to Delta. Glenwood heads to Palisade the same night.

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