“That was the best I’ve seen them play”
by Than Acuff
Sometimes one has to look close to find the silver lining. The Crested Butte Titans volleyball team had three matches last week, including hosting two of the top three teams from their league in Mt. Olympus on Saturday, October 7. While they won easily to open the three-match stretch, they dropped the next two at home, but not without some highlights.
The week before, coach Heather Perry had to retool the team to prepare for Sanford and Del Norte, filling in spots vacated by players who were headed out of town for the October Break.
“I had to move some kids and just spent the week giving them play practice,” says Perry.
With players missing, most of whom are sophomores, Perry took six freshmen with the varsity team to face Cripple Creek on Friday, October 6. Cripple Creek is sitting at the bottom of the standings and poses little threat to the Titans varsity team. As a result, Perry used the match to get freshmen some time and get the varsity additional work in their new positions as the Titans cruised to the match win in straight sets.
“It was nice for the players who changed positions that their first match was an easy one,” says Perry. “It was a good warm-up before the tough matches on Saturday.”
The team then returned home to face Sanford and Del Norte and while the chances at a match win were slim to none, Perry did want to see her team at least put up a fight.
“I just told the kids to go out and play hard,” says Perry. “They have the most fun when they play hard.”
Earlier this year the Sanford Indians took down the Titans in straight sets with Crested Butte hitting the 15-point mark just once in the three sets. This time around the Titans heeded Perry’s words battling with the Indians in the opening set to eventually win 25-22.
“That proved how I’ve always felt about the team,” says Perry. “They have these moments when they can put it all together, they just don’t have the time during the season to make that the norm.”
The Titans continued to fight in the second set before losing 25-19 and then dropped the next two sets as well to lose the match.
“That was the best I’ve seen them play all year,” says Perry.
Crested Butte then had to return to the floor to face Del Norte later that day after sitting through a five-set match between Sanford and Del Norte. The wait, and loss of another player to the October Break, left the Titans uninspired as they fell in straight sets.
“They just didn’t even show up for that match,” says Perry.
Crested Butte closes the season with three matches on the road as they head to Center on Friday, October 13 and then to Custer County for their final two matches on Saturday, October 14.
“We’ll have a different line-up again so they get two days to practice at it and then hope for the best,” says Perry. “It’s not about winning or losing but just finishing the season by playing competitively.”