Extend winning streak
It was a good weekend for the Lady Titans’ high school volleyball team, with the varsity taking the Miners of Creede on Friday, September 19. The next day, both the JV and varsity teams defeated the Sierra Grande Panthers at home.
After two forfeits last year from the Miners due to a lack of players, the Titans were unsure of what to expect from Creede’s style of play. The two teams exchanged the first few points of the match, with each team feeling each other out and working to find weaknesses. But this was the first match of the season Crested Butte really started to find their groove.
Senior co-captain Mackenzie Mailly played a great defensive game, covering a substantial portion of the court while picking up tips and short serves. Senior middle Chelsea Dill called for a variety of sets, including several slides, which took the miners by surprise for a couple of big kills. Then Dill took control of game one, serving points 21 through 24 as the Titans finished the game with a 25-19 win.
The Titans only got stronger in the second, with senior co-captain Katie Vandervoort’s serve proving almost unstoppable. Not even Creede’s two timeouts could shake Vandervoort’s confidence: she placed 14 straight serves, including four aces. During the run, Dill continued to hit well in the middle with three kills in seven attempts. Behind the strong serving, the Titans won the second game 25-8.
The Miners dug their heels in the third, and the Titans had to work a little harder to once again find their rhythm. Mailly came up with some big digs and great passes to set up some strong offensive plays by the Titans. Senior co-captain Kaitlin Councilman had another consistent match, adding 14 assists to her stats, plus two kills. The Titans won the third game 25-22 for the match victory.
Saturday, the Titans geared up to face a tough Sierra Grande team, which took them to five games before conceding defeat. Coach Marla Covey went with the same line-up as the previous evening, with hopes that her team would maintain the intensity they had shown against Creede.
The strategy paid off with the Titans taking the match in straight games. In the first, the Crested Butte players came out expecting an intense match, but showed good focus and the drive they needed for the quick win.
Councilman amassed another five assists in the first game alone, allowing juniors Sydney Loyed and Hillari Spencer to convert for two kills apiece. The tough and consistent Titan performance from the service line proved instrumental once again, missing only one serve and winning 25-14.
The Panthers came out in the second with revenge in their sights, picking up their intensity and just about anything the Titans sent across the net. But Crested Butte wouldn’t accommodate the Panthers’ wishes, and instead demonstrated relentless defense and solid offense.
Mailly and Vandervoort called for set after set, going ten for ten with three kills and seven for eight with two kills, respectively. Loyed was 100 percent from the service line, going on four- and five-point service runs and covering a lot of court defensively, picking up another two digs on the year. The Titans took the second, 25-19.
At this point, they were on a roll. In the third, Loyed had a perfect hitting percentage and led the team with 11 spike attempts. Councilman picked up another five assists for 15 on the day along with a kill and perfect service. Juniors Kelsey Beltz and Karleigh Dean saw some playing time, too, with Beltz converting two kills and Dean going on a six-point service run. Mailly added another two kills and a couple of three-point service runs into the mix, and despite the tenacity of the Panthers’ defense, the Titans won the third and final game 25-19.
The Titans travel to Saguache to face Mountain Valley Friday, September 26 and then return home to host Moffat on Saturday, September 27 at 2:30 p.m.