Titans volleyball opens season with two wins on home court

“They’ve come a long way in the first two weeks”

[  by Than Acuff  ]

The Crested Butte Titans volleyball team faced their first challenges of the season on Saturday, August 20 and came away with two wins and one loss.

Marla and Sheri Covey are back as the head coaches this year after taking an extended break and felt the team was as prepared as they could have been for the opening matches.

“They’ve come a long way in the first two weeks getting used to new systems and new coach expectations and I think they came into the matches pretty ready to play,” says coach Marla Covey.

They opened the three-match home stand against smaller program Fountain Valley and put their preseason preparation to work winning the first two games 25-3, 25-9 in a best of three format to win their opening match.

The Titans returned to the floor to face the Cotopaxi Pirates, a longtime test for the Crested Butte volleyball program. The Titans struggled at the outset to fall behind in the first game of the match but battled back to make it tough for the Pirates. Cotopaxi held off the Titans down the stretch though to edge out a 25-23 win in the first game.

“We lost our mojo for a little bit and fell behind but worked hard to catch back up,” says Marla. 

The Titans hoped to win the second game to push the match to a third and deciding game but came up short 25-19 to fall to Cotopaxi.

“I was most proud that they stayed positive with themselves and with each other,” says Marla. “They really tried to stay as a team when things went well and when things didn’t.”

Crested Butte closed out the day against the Creede Miners, another yearly test for the Titans. The Titans managed to shake off the loss to Cotopaxi for their final match and get back to basics on offense and defense and the rekindled mojo led Crested Butte to a 25-20 in the opening game against the Miners.

“We had some really good rallies and stayed on it,” says Marla. “We were able to put our offense together a bit better.”

The Titans stayed on their front foot in the second game of the match building off continued strong serving to step up their game a notch and win the second game 25-18 to take the match.

“We served well all day which I was very happy with,” says Marla. “I was also really proud of our seniors. They stepped up and showed their capacity to be really good leaders.”

After being away from the program for several years, both Sheri and Marla also noticed a new energy among the team, especially on the bench.

“Our bench cheered, talked, called balls in or out throughout all of the games,” says Marla. “They learned how much each player can contribute whether they are on the court or off the court.”

Overall, the coaches were pleased with the first matches but know there’s still plenty to do.

“We learned a lot,” says Marla. “We did some things well and they all saw some improvement throughout the day. I’m pleased but there’s still a lot more work to do.”

“We had good feedback on our skills and how much better the team is playing together,” adds Sheri.

They have a big week ahead of them with a match against Sargent and then three more matches at a tournament in Grand Junction on Saturday, August 27.

“The level of play will step up, Sargent is tough,” says Marla. “This week will be a lot more challenging.”

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