Pelland leads Rams over Demons
CARBONDALE – It sure didn’t seem like it was Erica Pelland’s first time ever playing middle blocker. Pelland, a senior who is normally an outside hitter, pounded 14 kills, made eight blocks, scooped up four digs and served one ace on Tuesday night, lifting the Roaring Fork volleyball team over Glenwood 3-1 (25-17, 25-23, 20-25, 25-22).”It was hard because I have never played middle before, so it was stressful,” Pelland said. “I am used to playing outside, so I had to get used to it.”
She adjusted quickly, posting five kills in the first game, giving the Rams the momentum over Glenwood for the first win over the Demons in several years.”It’s exciting,” Pelland said of how it felt to beat Glenwood. “We’ve (the seniors) probably never beaten them before, so it’s nice to have a win in our first game (of the season).”Pelland kept up the aggression in game two, diving to save one ball, quickly scrambling to her feet as Glenwood squared up for a kill and blocking it for a point all in a matter of a few seconds. Taylor Wagner equaled Pelland’s aggression, sacrificing herself for six digs and recording one ace and one kill on the side. Rebecca Roper added four kills and two blocks.
“We are a very scrappy team,” said first-year Ram coach Kacey Daugherty. “We played everything up, we played until the refs blew the whistle, and I think that’s awesome. We played with our hearts and played hard.”Instead of backing down after finding itself down two games to none, Glenwood walked onto the court more pumped up for game three. The Demons served up five aces in the game, two each from Toni Gottshalck and Kelly Lawson. A Lawson kill sealed Glenwood’s 25-20 victory and forced a fourth game.With the help of two blocks from Pelland, and aided by Glenwood timing and miscommunication errors, Roaring Fork took an early 8-3 lead. Glenwood battled back and trailed 15-13 with kills from Chelsea Vallario and blocks from Gottshalck. Down 24-19, Glenwood made a last-ditch effort to force game five. Summer Sherman fired down a kill and Lawson added another ace to make the score 24-22, but the Demons’ comeback came up a little short.
“It was a lot more up and down than this weekend (at the Demon Invitational, where Glenwood went 3-2),” said Glenwood head coach Scott Nykerk. “We weren’t very consistent. We have the tendency to lose some of our aggressiveness, we end up with a lot of attempts over the net instead of trying to put the ball away. (We need to work on) closing blocks, reducing the amount that comes to our back rows, a lot of things.”Heather Smyth led the Demons with nine kills, Sherman added eight, Carly Stillman chipped in seven and Lawson, Vallario and Gottshalck each added five. Lawson totaled four aces on the night, while the team combined for nine.”They’re a pretty tight team,” Nykerk said. “They work together and the fight together, they’ll go down together. What ever they are going to do, they are going to do it together.”
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