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Titans volleyball tightens up to take down Antonito

Drops matches to Gunnison and South Park

by Than Acuff

It had been years, possibly never, that the Crested Butte Titans volleyball team faced Gunnison during the regular season. Gunnison plays in 3A while the Titans are in 2A and the teams could never quite find the time in their schedules for a match.

Finally, this year the match came to fruition as the Titans headed to Gunnison on Tuesday, September 27, and while the Titans lost the match in straight sets, Perry saw something new from her team and believes the experience carried over into their matches over the weekend.

“Even though we lost in Gunnison, they played really well and they found some fire,” says Perry. “There was a noticeable difference in attitude and intensity and that carried over into our next match.”

That next match was against Antonito on Thursday, September 29 in mighty Mt. Olympus. The Titans are more than capable of beating Antonito and after the first set, everything appeared to be proceeding as hoped. The Titans came close to blowing a lead in the second set, up 21-17 before Antonito crawled back to make it 23-22. Perry called a timeout to get her team back on track and the Titans responded winning the next two points in a row to win the set 25-22.

Midway through the third set the Titans rallied off a big dig from Corrina Donovan, and after a huge kill from Annie Duryea, were sitting on a 17-11 lead and looking to seal the match win in straight sets.

But an Antonito timeout cooled off the Titans’ attack and Antonito rallied back to tie the set 17-17. The two teams traded off points the rest of the way with Antonito eventually edging out a 26-24 win.

While a set win like that can sway a match, Perry was confident her team would hold off an Antonito comeback.

“Even though we made some mistakes, we played really hard,” says Perry. “Antonito didn’t have any sort of offense—they just kept dumping it over to us. They kept giving us the ball. We just had to reduce unforced errors.”

The Titans opened the fourth set disjointed and lacking any organized attack. Meanwhile, Antonito was consistent enough to take an early 6-0 lead before Perry called a timeout.

“I told them that we are not digging a hole and to get out there and fix the problem,” says Perry. “Focus on passing and then we can start hitting again.”

Paced by the serving of Emilya Ramsey and a more cohesive attack, Crested Butte rattled off five straight points to climb back into the game. The teams started trading off points again much like the third set with Duryea, Chandler and Elsa Matyk, all coming up with big kills. The teams were notched in a 23-23 tie thanks to a huge block from Antonito, but a quick tip and renewed focus by Crested Butte led the way to a 25-23 set win and the match.

The Titans recorded five aces in the match, Duryea led the team with 16 kills, Nicki Rehberg had 18 digs on the match and Avery Pulley led with 12 assists, while both Ramsey and Donovan each had three solo blocks.

The Titans fell two days later to the South Park Burros in straight sets hitting an officiating snafu early in the match to lose momentum. Down 23-22, a missed call swayed the game in South Park’s favor and they edged out the 26-24 win.

“We lost that point, which was tough because we totally had the momentum,” says Perry.

The Titans eventually dropped the second set 25-18 and the third set 25-12 to lose the match. Despite the tough loss, the Titans’ serving appears to have come around as they gave up only two points the entire match on bad serves.

“They tried to hang on. In the first game we had a lot of kills, the second and third games we weren’t passing as well and couldn’t put the ball on the ground,” says Perry.

The Titans return home to Mt. Olympus for their final home match of the season as they face Cripple Creek on Friday, October 7 with the JV slated to start at 3:30 p.m. and the varsity at 5 p.m. They return to the road on Saturday for matches against Sanford and Del Norte.

“That’s going to be a long day and a tough day,” says Perry.

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