Glenwood volleyball drops 5-set match to Palisade
On an emotional Senior Night inside Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium, the Glenwood Springs Demons volleyball team jumped out to a quick two-game lead, only to see the visiting Palisade Bulldogs come storming all the way back to take a tense 24-26, 23-25, 25-23, 25-16,15-9 Western Slope League victory.
With all the momentum squarely in their corner after bursting out of the starting blocks with a flurry by capturing the match’s first two games by razor thin margins, the Demons seemed to exhale a bit at the beginning of the third set, and it was all the league-leading Bulldogs needed to get back into their groove.
“I think it was hard for the girls at that point to not have the feel of having a little cushion in the match,” said Glenwood Head Coach Kehau Rust. “Palisade also started making fewer mistakes, and we started to make more. Maybe we just tried too hard trying to get things back in our favor.”
Early on, the net play of seniors Ashley Emery, Baylee Johnson and Sarah Wagner kept Glenwood in control as they would never trail in the first game. A big block at the net by junior Emily Nilsson gave the home team a 16-12 lead. Glenwood blocks continually thwarted the efforts of high jumping 6-foot Palisade senior Alexandra MacAskill, as the Demons rolled to close out the game.
With the second set in their back pocket, Glenwood found itself in trouble early in what could have been the deciding third game. Palisade jumped out to a quick 8-2 lead as the Demons tried to regroup time and again.
Emery and Nilsson combined for a block late in the game to shave the Palisade lead to 22-20. That was followed by a kill from Emery to inch the Demons even closer. But the Bulldogs were able to keep Glenwood’s comeback attempt at bay, and close things out to keep the fans in their seats a bit longer.
Glenwood’s back line of defense was stellar all night long, with Ally Rosenmerkel, Reese Goluba, Logan Nieslanik and Shanik Zambrano keeping the Demons within striking distance of Palisade. Set four though was all in favor of the Bulldogs as they built a 20-13 lead at one point on a kill by MacAskill, and put things on cruise control from that point on.
In the deciding fifth game, Baylee Johnson stepped up for Glenwood, bringing the Demons within 6-5 of the Bulldogs with three kills of her own, but Palisade quickly upped the lead to 11-6, forcing Rust to use a timeout in the hopes of rallying her charges one last time.
It wasn’t to be, though, as Palisade closed out the final game by a count of 15-9 ending the Glenwood hopes of a big victory.
The statistical leaders on the night for the Demons were Rosenmerkel with 19 digs, while Emery — playing her usual steady all around game — had 16 kills. Johnson and Wagner contributed 11 kills each. Nilsson had 29 assists, and Goluba came through with 19 assists for Glenwood.
Glenwood (10-9, 6-6 WSL ) will have some time off the court until Oct. 26-27 when they will travel to play in the Coal Ridge Invitational volleyball tournament. In that tourney, the Demons will face Pagosa Springs, Coal Ridge and Battle Mountain.
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It was a close game, but after some thrilling back-and-forth plays the Rifle Bears were able to pull off the 28-20 victory over The Academy on May 1.