Summit girls volleyball loses in hard-fought battle against Eagle Valley
Team feels well prepared to make a run in the latter part of the season
After beginning the season 3-0, the Summit High School volleyball team has dropped five of its last six games with the Tigers recently recording losses to league opponents Glenwood Springs and Palisade on the road.
With Eagle Valley High School visiting Breckenridge for Summit’s white-out game on Tuesday, Sept. 12, the 4-5 Tigers looked to record a big win against the 6-3 Eagle Valley Devils.
In a playoff-game atmosphere, Summit battled hard against its 4A Western Slope foes with each set being decided by the minimum-required 2 points. In the end, the Tigers failed to snap their losing streak, falling to Eagle Valley in three sets.
Both teams exchanged points back and forth in the early part of the first set, with senior Karlyn Frazier recording several powerful blocks in front of the net. After several minutes of back-and-forth play, dynamic plays from Frazier, senior Chloe Nicholds and senior Shannon Reed allowed Summit to take a small lead, which the team continued to build on over the next several minutes.
An Eagle Valley timeout allowed the Devils to reset, and they began to cut into the Tigers’ advantage. Summit and Eagle Valley exchanged points and volleys over the final part of the set before two Summit miscues led to a 27-25 Eagle Valley set-one win.
After controlling the majority of the opening set, the Tigers came out eager to score points and finish out set two in a strong manner. Summit seniors Hannah Crowe and Sage Hanks gave the Tigers a cushion of a few points, but the Devils creeped back into the set and eventually took over the lead.
Big plays from Frazier, Crowe and Hanks almost gave Summit a set win, but Eagle Valley overpowered the team and won the set, 25-23.
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Now in desperate need of a win, the Tigers attempted to match the powerful hitting and skill of the Devils.
Plays from Reed and senior Sierra Durloo gave the Tigers the lead before Crowe worked to expand upon the advantage with a series of fiery spikes. However, in similar fashion to the first two sets, Eagle Valley slowly chipped away at the Summit lead until the game was knotted at 17-17.
Over the next 10 minutes, Summit and Eagle Valley exchanged points in quick succession, but Eagle Valley seniors Ray Forman and Ava Geiman ultimately gave the Devils the edge they needed to finish out the match and defeat Summit on its home court.
Eagle Valley won the final set 27-25 to sweep Summit in three sets. The Tigers now fall to 4-6 overall on the season and 0-3 in league play, while Eagle Valley is now 7-3 and 2-2 in league play.
Despite the loss, the Tigers are still excited to take on the rest of the 4A Western Slope league schedule. Team members are feeling like they have grown dramatically over the last two seasons under head coach Cynthia Durloo.
“Before Cynthia came in, we didn’t really have coaches that stayed,” Crowe said. “We had a new coach pretty much every year. I feel like the structure and having all of that and doing things over the summer — we are in the gym together building the program instead of just showing up for tryouts and just going with it.”
This summer, the team went to a summer camp at Colorado State University and has also hosted a grass volleyball tournament at Summit High School. Frazier said these preseason activities were not only new to the team, but also helped the team members grow closer before the start of the fall season.
“The program has grown because we are connected and the entire program is one big team,” Frazier said. “When I was a freshman, the team was very separated. I knew like two of the seniors because they drove me, but that was about it. This year, I have met and talked to all of the freshmen and hopefully they feel like they can come and talk with me.”
With a core of seven seniors, Summit is hoping to rely on its chemistry and skill in order to not only carry them to another appearance in the Class 4A regional volleyball tournament, but also to a state volleyball tournament berth.
“Our main goal right now is to make it to state,” Frazier said. “I think we have struggled so far this season, but we have had highs and lows.”
“At one point last season we were 2-10.” Crowe said. “This year we have started off a little bit stronger and we are going to be in a better place going later into the season.”
Summit will conclude the remainder of its regular-season schedule with a tough slate of eight league games before traveling to Aspen and an end-of-season tournament.
With every league game almost guaranteed to be a competitive affair, Frazier and Crowe encourage the community to come out to the games to see the team play.
“Come and watch us,” Frazier said. “We are playing super well this year, and we are playing against super good teams that are making for really good, fun, competitive, close matches. The environment in the gym is super excited. We have had a lot of people showing up to our games, so hopefully we can continue that through the season.”
Summit will face Steamboat Springs High School at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16, in Steamboat. The team’s next home game will take place on Thursday, Sept. 21, against Rifle High School.
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