“They knew what needed to be done to win that fifth game”
by Than Acuff
It’s been a rollercoaster ride for the Crested Butte Titans volleyball team. Plagued with injuries, illnesses and the October break, the Titans never managed to gain any semblance of rhythm throughout the season. The final week of the regular season was a small example of that ride for the Titans as they fell to Dolores Huerta on Thursday, October 24 only to rebound and finish their season with a gritty home win over the South Park Burros on Saturday, October 26.
The team was still reeling a bit from the October break but started to regain their focus as they prepared for the Dolores Huerta game.
“The energy was good and I think their spirits were good—it’s just the four-hour bus ride didn’t really help with that,” says coach Erin Goggins.
When they opened the match they had all but one starter in the lineup and were looking to get back on track. The only problem was, they were quickly derailed as Dolores Huerta brought a unique game to the floor and the Titans ended up falling in straight sets 24-26, 13-25, and 22-25.
“Dolores played different from any other team we’d played all season,” says Goggins. “We figured it out pretty early and had strategies in place but I don’t think we ever got into a really good rhythm.”
That left Crested Butte one last chance to end the season on a high note when they returned home to mighty Mt. Olympus to host South Park on Saturday. Confidence was in place for the match as the Titans had handled South Park earlier in the season but they found a much different opponent the second time around.
“The first time we played them we kind of blew them out of the water but this was a much closer match,” says Goggins.
Crested Butte opened by winning the first game 25-19 and then battled their way to a 28-26 win in the second game. The match then turned in South Park’s favor as they won the next two games to force a fifth and final game.
Typically a run like that can lead to the team with momentum taking it into the fifth game and coming away with the match. This time though the Titans recovered to fight back and eventually take the fifth game 15-11 and win the match.
“Any time you go to five games it sucks to lose,” says Goggins. “I was really proud of how they rallied. They knew what needed to be done to win that fifth game. It was definitely a hard-fought match and good to come out on top for once and a good way to end the season.”
Savannah Freeman finished the day with five kills and two blocks, Sydney Stoneberg joined Freeman at the net with four kills, Audrey Griffin tallied four aces and 63 sets, Sophia Kubisak had three blocks and Marlowe Desmarais rattled off 63 passes as the libero.
The Titans’ season has closed out now with no spot in the post-season but Goggins feels good things are set to come in the next couple of years.
“That last win has everyone’s hopes up for next year,” says Goggins. “With the juniors and sophomores we have coming up, it’s looking positive.”