Glenwood volleyball sweeps Steamboat in 4A WSL action
Post Independent Contributor
The Glenwood Springs Demons’ girls volleyball team used a momentum-building 30-28 opening game win to propel them to a home sweep of the Steamboat Springs Sailors on Saturday afternoon inside Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium.
Winning by scores of 30-28, 25-22, and 25-16, Glenwood upped its overall record to 7-2, while remaining unbeaten in 4A Western Slope League play at 3-0.
The Sailors looked strong to open the match as outside hitter Mercada Baker scored a kill to open up an early 6-3 lead for the Sailors. The lead was short-lived though, as Glenwood senior Emily Nilsson found an open spot in the backline of the Sailors’ defense for a point, and fellow senior Shanik Zambrano smacked a hard shot to the floor as Glenwood came storming back to tie the first game at 6-6.
Sophomore Kenzie Winder recorded a kill and senior Kaitlyn Johnson dug a shot out near the floor that ended up being an unlikely winner as the Demons jumped ahead 15-12 in the seesaw affair. Steamboat then battled back to have a game point at 24-21, but Glenwood regained the elusive momentum to tie the game and eventually record the 30-28 win on a kill by Zambrano.
Glenwood broke out to a 7-3 lead in game number two of the match, forcing veteran Steamboat coach Wendy Hall to use a timeout. The Demons came out of the break in play and continued to build on their lead when junior Kiah Larson had a nice run at the service line to put Glenwood up 11-5.
The Sailors, now in a big hole, managed to fight back from a 22-14 deficit to come within 22-18 as senior Lauren Eck threw some hard serves at the Demons, but Glenwood regained its composure to close the game at 25-22 and look toward a 3-game sweep.
Johnson started off the deciding game for Glenwood with two big kills and sophomore Charlotte Olszewski recorded a spike of her own for a 5-4 Demon advantage. Nilsson had a nifty tip over the net and Larson knocked a kill down the sideline as Glenwood was primed to close things out.
With junior Reese Goluba and senior Chance Balis providing some stellar backline defense for Glenwood, Winder and Olszewski combined for a block at the net to stuff any Sailor comeback hopes and put Glenwood up 20-14. Johnson closed out the Demon scoring on the afternoon, and the match, with a hard kill to keep Glenwood on the unbeaten track in league play.
Glenwood junior arsity coach Brittani Chilson, who was filling in as head coach on the day, was pleased with how the Demons came together after a slow start to the match.
“The way we started today, it seemed like there were six individuals on the court,” said Chilson. “We talked about that problem and we fixed it. Overall, we began to start setting the pace of the game instead of reacting to things.”
Following the match, Coach Chilson wasn’t so much focused on Glenwood’s sparkling early season record, as she was on continued improvement and solid play.
“We’re not really caring that much about the record at this point in the season. Our team goals are just to stay tough, be consistent, set the pace of the game, and focus on what we can do to get better,” said Chilson.
Stat sheet stuffers for Glenwood included Zambrano with 13 kills and Johnson with 10. Nilsson had 26 assists to top the Demons. In the digs department, Johnson recorded 11 and Goluba had 10 for the game.
Glenwood will continue Western Slope League play on Tuesday, Sept. 24, when the Demons will host Eagle Valley at Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium.
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Six prep volleyball players from Garfield County schools earned first-team 3A Western Slope League honors.