Basically I was in damage control
by Than Acuff
Titans volleyball is feeling the brunt of the October Break—missing players to the annual fall vacation as well as losing starting center Isabel Young to injury. Despite the mayhem among the team, the Titans took down the Cripple Creek Pioneers in straight sets on Friday, October 7 before losing their next two matches to Sanford and Del Norte on Saturday, October 8.
The Titans handled the Pioneers easily in their first match of the season a couple of weeks ago so coach Heather Perry was expecting another win from her team. The only question really was would it go in straight sets or possibly take longer as Perry was forced to call on several reserves to step into the varsity match as well as moving varsity players to new positions to put her strongest six on the court.
“Given I had JV players on the varsity team and I had to move my libero to outside hitter, I thought it could go to five,” says Perry. “Basically I was in damage control.”
Fortunately, the mix of new players and new positions was plenty enough to get the job done as the Titans took down the Pioneers 25-13, 25-17, 25-8.
Titans servers rattled off 23 aces in the match, led by Avery Pulley with six and Annie Duryea with five. Emilya Ramsey was potent as a hitter with nine kills, followed by Duryea with eight, and Maisey Ramsey making the most of her varsity time with five kills, while Pulley led the team with 12 assists.
The new mix of players ran into a buzzsaw the following day though, as they hit the road to face league powerhouses Sanford and Del Norte, falling to both teams in straight sets.
“I had six kids on varsity, no subs and the libero as outside hitter and that’s just what we rolled with,” says Perry. “We were just getting beat up.”
The Titans did put together one solid set toward the end of the two-match day but a couple of missed calls swung momentum away from the Titans leaving them winless on the road trip.
“Del Norte just has two big hitters that crush the ball,” says Perry. “Sanford is a winnable match if we have a full squad. We just looked at it as a life lesson and I appreciated the kids who stuck it out and got through the day.”
Perry will spend the week working with the players in town with an emphasis on fun as they prepare for matches this weekend against Center on Friday, October 14 and Sargent and Custer County on Saturday, October 15. The Titans took down Center earlier this year but will have their hands full against Sargent and Custer County with their depleted numbers.
“I’m just trying to make it a positive experience for the kids who are here,” says Perry, “trying to find any means necessary to encourage the kids who did stay, making it fun and keeping it interesting.”