Big Homecoming match Thursday at 7 p.m.
by Than Acuff
The Crested Butte Titans volleyball team hit the road on Saturday, September 8 for two matches against the Center Vikings and the Del Norte Tigers with a majority of their focus on the Del Norte showdown.
Del Norte is a mainstay at the top of the league standings each year but the Titans met them at a team camp over the summer and started to make strides against the typically overpowering squad.
“Our focus was going into that match with a ‘we can win this’ attitude,” explains coach Morgan McNallie.
The Titans had to get through Center first though, and they did so with relative ease as they cruised to the match win taking down Center in straight sets, 25-11, 25-12 and 25-7.
“We played pretty well against them,” says McNallie. “They had a lot of team errors and we were able to take advantage of that. It really helped build more confidence going into the match against Del Norte.”
Feeling the energy from their first match and a newfound confidence, the Titans went into the first set against the Tigers head strong, battling with them all set going up 24-23, one point away from the set win. But a miscue thwarted their initial upset bid and Del Norte scored the next two points to win the first set 26-24.
“We definitely carried our confidence into that first set,” says McNallie. “We tried but fell short.”
The Titans were in the mix in the next two sets as well until a few mistakes dashed their momentum and their team dynamic.
“We would stay with them until 15 points and would be neck-and-neck, but we would make simple mistakes and get down two points and our attitude would shift,” says McNallie. “It got frustrating because we started playing hesitant.”
The Titans ended up losing the next two sets 25-17, 25-17 and the match.
McNallie hopes the team can build off of the Del Norte loss and use what they learned as they prepare for their Homecoming match against Sargent on Thursday, September 13.
“We learned, don’t get down as a team and minimize errors, and I hope we can change some of those things,” says McNallie. “We need to minimize our attitude errors and our game-playing errors.”
The match starts off at 7 p.m. in mighty Mt. Olympus but the night kicks off with a pre-game tailgate in the school at 6:30 p.m. complete with BBQ food. McNallie and the team are looking for a big turnout as Sargent is another strong opponent and a solid fan base is just what the Titans need to help propel them to a match win.
“The team is looking forward to a home match and excited to have friends and family in the stands,” says McNallie.