“I like how we’re playing together”
By Than Acuff
The frantic first half of the season for the Crested Butte Titans volleyball team came to a head last week as they had two tough league matches on the road, dropping both, before they returned to the valley for a non-league match against the Gunnison Cowboys on Tuesday, September 12.
Gunnison is having quite the season this year as they are sitting at the top of the 3A Western Slope standings with a record of 3-0 and are 9-0 overall so far this season.
“They’re good this year,” says Titans coach Marla Covey. “Really good defense with some hitters.”
While the match had the potential to be overwhelming for the smaller Titans team, Covey and the players were looking forward to the match as a quality test for their side.
“We just wanted them to focus on staying positive and having fun,” says Covey. “It’s always so much fun to play good teams.”
Covey admits that her team was almost a little too excited about the Gunnison match as several hits early in the first set missed the mark.
“We were pumped up, maybe a little too much,” says Covey. “But it was good to see them pumped up for the game.”
Gunnison won the first two sets 25-14, 25-13, but the Titans never wavered in their effort and teamwork, though eventually dropped the third set 25-19 to lose the match.
Mandala Covey-Bleiberg led the Titans with seven kills while Elise Hanna recorded 11 assists in the match.
“We battled them,” says Covey. “I think we have talent and we’re executing better. We just need to hone in on making smarter plays and there are some little things we need to correct. We’d go on a good run but then let a few points go.”
Despite the outcome, Covey was happy with what she saw out of her team with the foundation for success in the second half of the season firmly in place.
“I like how we’re playing together,” says Covey. “Overall, we’re playing as a team. We don’t go anywhere if we can’t do that.”
The Titans have another road stretch this week as they face Buena Vista, league opponent Monte Vista and then a non-league match against Telluride on Friday, September 22.
“It would be nice to win a couple games this week, get back on the winning track,” says Covey.