Look to rebound in Homecoming matches this week
by Than Acuff
Eliminating errors, mental focus and intensity are key cornerstones to success in volleyball, and while the Crested Butte Titans are close in several other areas of the game, those three bases continued to plague them as they dropped three matches over the past week.
After falling to South Park in their first match of the season, coach Heather Perry was committed to ridding the team of service errors and building strength at the net with additional work at the net.
“We continued to work on hitting and putting them in more pressure serving scenarios,” says Perry.
Unfortunately, the Titans struggled to harvest the fruits of their labor as service errors and a lapse in mental toughness spelled their demise against Sierra Grande on Thursday, September 8.
Things were clicking for Crested Butte as they won the first two sets of the match against Sierra Grande. But when Sierra Grande got hot at the service line in the third set, the Titans started to fall behind and they dropped the next three sets to lose the match.
“We just broke down mentally,” says Perry. “They were playing well and having fun, but when Sierra Grande’s servers got hot, they got frustrated with themselves and each other and started to panic. It just kind of unraveled.”
The Titans did record 32 kills as a team in the match led by Annie Duryea with 13. Emilya Ramsey led the team with three service aces while Caroline Chandler and Duryea each recorded 15 digs, with Nicki Rehberg working for 13 digs in the match.
Perry looked to regroup the troops on practice Friday before heading to the San Luis Valley on Saturday, September 10 for matches against Sanford and Del Norte.
Unfortunately, they were missing a key part of their rotation for both matches, leaving some holes in their battle lines at the net, and that, among other things, led to continued struggles.
The Titans jumped out to a lead in the opening set of their match against Sanford, and while service errors were cut in half, Sanford remained consistent through the match to take the Titans down in straight sets.
Crested Butte then ran into a buzz saw against the Del Norte Tigers as the overpowering front line of the Tigers proved too much to handle for the Titans.
“They had a big middle hitter and a big outside hitter and we just didn’t have an answer for that,” says Perry.
The team will be home this week and hope to turn the tide as they host Center on Thursday, September 15 and Custer County and Sargent on Saturday, September 17 as part of the Homecoming Weekend action.
“We’ve just got to put our heads down and keep working hard,” says Perry. “I’ve been trying to talk to them about getting outside of their comfort zone. Center will be hard, Custer County could go either way and Sargent is usually pretty good, so it’s going to be tough.”