Reserve Tigers make the most of chances in Summit volleyball loss to Glenwood
The Summit High School varsity girls volleyball team saw increased contributions from more players in a 3-0 home loss Tuesday night in Breckenridge versus Glenwood Springs.
The Demons defeated the Tigers 25-22, 25-14 and 25-17 in a contest in which first-year head coach Lex Zangari opted to give more players a chance to contribute to the action than in Summit’s three previous losses to start the season.
“After Saturday, it just kind of seemed like we needed a bit of a reset,” Zangari said about the 0-4 side. “The day before I told the girls, we had a good conversation about the mental aspect to stay invested in the game. The word choice I used was to have the intention to push and keep playing despite making mistakes.”
Zangari said Tigers senior Natalia Flores and juniors Riley Gallen and Ella Scheuerman rose to the occasion, helping the Tigers compete against a Glenwood team that was good at keeping constant pressure on Summit. The Demons played with energy and hit well from the middle of their zone. Gallen was productive hitting from the outside while the scrappy Flores made some plays on the back row, and Scheuerman provided a big blocking presence at the net.
“Riley specifically added a lot of consistency,” Zangari said. “She really didn’t make many errors, which is something we’ve been struggling with a little bit.”
Summit roared out to an early lead in the first set. Summit did well to channel Zangari’s focus of mental toughness and a competitive drive despite mistakes.
The mistakes came though, with Glenwood Springs rallying back from a 6-point deficit in the first set to take the lead. The Tigers bounced back to go point-for-point with the Demons until they pulled away in the end.
Zangari said the second set was the weakest and most lacking in energy of the day. Summit played much more cautious than the first set, and the timidity led to another lost set. In the third, the Tigers ratcheted up the aggression on the court and vocal volume off of it. Summit had the set tied late before falling. The coach, though, feels it might have been a turning point for the girls.
“At some point, it clicked, and they saw what they can do,” Zangari said. “Our defense was great with the combination of (senior) Mya Nicholds and (junior) Emily Koetteritz in the back row.”
On the offensive end, Summit employed some new approaches Tuesday. Zangari said she feels good about the wrinkles looking ahead to the final 10 games of a 14-game campaign, starting with a road trip at 6:30 p.m. Thursday to Eagle Valley. The road trip matches Zangari up versus her old club coach Mike Garvey, who coached her when she was 13.
As for Summit’s more entrenched contributors, Zangari highlighted Taylor Tullio’s key importance to the team, mentioning the junior “swings for the fences.” Zangari is also encouraged by the play of junior Bella Speer on the right side and senior Kalee Padilla’s consistency to avoid blocks with her hits. And senior Mackenzie Westenskow has done well mixing up Summit’s offense and leading the team in frantic moments, she said.
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