“We couldn’t find any momentum anywhere”
by Than Acuff
It was a tale of two teams last weekend as the Crested Butte Titans volleyball team stumbled its way to a loss against Sanford at home on Friday, September 21, only to rebound the very next day to win over South Park on the road.
The Titans fell to Sanford earlier in the season but it was a game that the Crested Butte players felt they let get away. As result, workouts leading up to the match were strong and confidence was high prior to the match.
“Leading up to the match everybody looked like they were on and motivated to beat them,” says coach Morgan McNallie.
But, that motivation and energy failed to make it on to the court once the match started as the Titans lost the opening set 25-20. Errors continued to plague the Titans into the second set as they fell 25-16 and they never recovered losing the third set 25-20 and the match.
“Sanford was just not a good game for us,” says McNallie. “Communication really tore us apart. We couldn’t find any momentum anywhere.”
Remarkably, a completely different team showed up the next day in South Park. Faced with a raucous Homecoming crowd in South Park, the Titans remained focused through the entire match.
“Their bleachers were full cheering for them and booing us,” says McNallie. “We kept our cool and fed off their energy and used it.”
The Titans opened in complete control building a lead and eventually winning the first set 25-20. They followed that up by winning the second set 25-19 but lost a player to injury and faced a short bench. McNallie called on Stella Newman to try a new position.
“She had never played middle before but she stepped in and did amazing,” says McNallie.
South Park started to build a little momentum in the third set and stayed with the Titans the entire time. The set continued and the two teams were battling back and forth into the later points before the Titans sealed the win 27-25 to take the match in straight sets.
“We played the way we should and how we know how to play,” says McNallie. “Our goal was to beat them in three sets and it got a little close but we pulled out the win. It was a total redemption game from the Sanford match.”
Sophie Hall was the leading setter on the match, Sydney Stoneberg continued to develop her blocking prowess at the net, libero Nicki Rehberg was the top defensive player and Maisy Ramsey led the way with 15 kills, six aces and some outstanding work on defense.
The Titans play at home this Friday, September 28 as they host Custer County with the JV at 4 p.m. and the varsity match at 5 p.m. The Titans then get back on the bus Saturday morning to face Telluride in Telluride.
“Hopefully we play the way we know how the whole weekend,” says McNallie.