“I told them, win or lose, let’s just play well”
by Than Acuff
It’s been a long season for the Crested Butte Titans volleyball team yet the plucky squad continues to battle, closing out the regular season with a win and a hard-fought loss over the weekend.
The accomplishment was rather noteworthy, given that the October break had players coming and going, with coach Heather Perry forced to move her players several times to put together a cohesive unit throughout the week.
“I lost some kids, got some others back, so we did another little switcheroo,” says Perry.
The Titans headed to Center on Friday, October 13 to face the Vikings. Earlier this year, the Titans fell to Center in a five-set match. This time around, despite a third different line-up in as many matches, the Titans rolled through Center, winning the match in straight sets.
“We walked right through them this time, which was really strange given what happened the first time we played them,” says Perry.
After slogging their way to a 25-22 win in the first game, the Titans picked up their game over the next two to win the second game 25-19 and then take the match with a 25-15 win in the third game.
“The challenge against teams like Center is you end up playing like they do and that’s kind of what happened,” explains Perry. “There were a lot of points where both teams just dinked the ball around.”
Sophie Hall finished the day with 18 serves, Maisy Ramsey had nine kills in the match and Maya Chandler was on her toes to set up for 13 service receptions.
While Perry admits the team was rather subdued about the win and it wasn’t their best match, it’s a good way to set things up for the post-season.
“It’s always nice to get a win. It does help our standings for seedings at districts,” says Perry.
The team returned to the road on Saturday, October 14 to take on the Custer County Bobcats. Custer County is another one of those teams in the league that the Titans can compete with, but need their A game to take down.
Rather than focus on the final outcome though, Perry wanted her team to finish the day proud of the game they put on the floor.
“I told them, win or lose, let’s just play well,” says Perry.
The Titans came close to doing both as they battled with Custer County through five games before falling.
They dropped the first game 20-25 but came back to win the second game 25-19. Then the Titans tanked in the third game as Custer County jumped out to a 10-2 lead and never looked back to win 25-4.
“When we were down 10-2, I think the kids were like, let’s just be done with this one and I kind of agreed with them,” says Perry. “They still wanted to be competitive in the match.”
The energy saved by not trying the impossible in the third game paid off in the fourth as the Titans rebounded to edge out a 28-26 win in the fourth game.
“At that point I was like, okay, I can work with this,” explains Perry.
The Titans continued to fight in the fifth but Custer County eventually sealed the match win taking the fifth and deciding set 15-12.
“We lost but, other than the third set, we competed and I think they had fun,” says Perry.
Savannah Freeman led the Titans with 19 serves, Ramsey had 10 kills and Hall tallied 23 digs.
The Titans will return to full strength for the week of practice before heading into district play on October 24.