League play proves tough for Titans volleyball

“We’ve had some weird rotations”

[ by Than Acuff ]

With the early onset of injuries and other extenuating circumstances, the Crested Butte Titans volleyball team had a rough stretch against league opponents last week falling in matches against Sargent, Sanford and Center.

They opened the tough week on Tuesday, March 23 against the Sargent Farmers losing in three sets as Sargent had a significant size advantage in all positions on the court.

“They’re a big team and played a very high game which we hadn’t seen yet this season,” says coach Cierra Abbott.

Still, amongst all of the big hits and overpowering offense, the Titans took the match in stride and after a nervy first set, made the adjustments to bring a better game in the second and third sets.

“They’re definitely one of the better teams and I think we were intimidated in the first set,” says Abbott. “But the next two sets we fought hard and definitely had a lot of good moments.”

Two days later the Titans had the tough task of hosting the Sanford Indians in Mt. Olympus. Sanford is right up there with Sargent as far as strength of program and the Titans had some nerves to work through in their first home match of the season losing the first set.

But again they regrouped to bring a better game in the next two sets overcoming an injury to their libero, forcing the Titans into another different rotation, to string together some rallies and take the lead at times in the third set before dropping the match. Sylvie Newman and Blakeley Reynolds led the team in kills and Ellie Duryea racked up three aces.

“We’ve been fighting through a lot of injuries,” says Abbott. “We’ve had some weird rotations.”

Crested Butte then headed to Center on Saturday, March 27 looking to get back on the winning track but struggled through the first two sets and losing both.

But, the Titans’ fight has always been the linchpin of their program and they built off of that and started finding their rhythm on the court to mount a comeback. Crested Butte won the third and fourth sets to force a fifth and final set, but the Titans lost a starter to injury and lost 15-13 in the final set to drop the match. Hayes Freeman led the team with 10 kills and Alex Downey registered six aces from the service line.
“I was really proud of the way they played,” says Abbott. “Center had more players to handle the endurance of the game and we had some long rallies and that adds up for sure. But they showed they have a lot of fight and character. It was a disappointing loss but the comeback was impressive to see.”

The Titans return home for their next match when they host the South Park Burros on Thursday, April 1 at 3:30 p.m.

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