Summit girls volleyball wins 1st game of season after abbreviated quarantine |

Summit girls volleyball wins 1st game of season after abbreviated quarantine

Summit falls to Battle Mountain, bests Rifle

Summit High School varsity girls volleyball player Mya Nicholds returns a serve during the Tigers’ loss March 23 at Steamboat Springs.
Photo by Shelby Reardon / Steamboat Pilot & Today

The Summit High School volleyball team found out April 9 that they’d be able to return to practice and competition several days early from a teamwide quarantine.

Summit followed that up with a Tuesday home loss in straight sets to Battle Mountain and then a Thursday 3-1 road victory at Rifle.

Tigers head coach Lex Zangari said Summit High Athletic Director Travis Avery wrote in an email that the early return was thanks to a change in public health guidance specific to the mandatory length of quarantines for certain COVID-19 variants.

The change thrust the volleyball team into a situation where it had one practice before the Tuesday game against the Huskies, which the Huskies won 25-23, 25-12 and 25-16. In the game, the Tigers lost senior leader and setter Mackenzie Westenskow to injury. Westenskow’s injury combined with an injury suffered during the quarantine break by senior CJ Novotna to leave the Tigers without a couple of their top players.

Despite the injury, Summit rallied back after a 25-16 first set loss to win three straight sets Thursday versus Rifle: 25-17, 25-20 and 25-15. Zangari said the Tigers won after she called up three players from junior varsity, including junior setter Kayla Hanson, freshman outside hitter Ella Snyder and freshman middle hitter Hannah Crowe.

“They definitely were a crucial aspect, especially offensively, for the win,” Zangari said about the trio.

Zangari credited Bella Speer for efficient offensive play all over the court as she switched her position as the game wore on. The coach also said the defensive duo of senior Mya Nicholds and junior Emily Koetteritz worked well together.

“From the second set on, there was a lot of intensity on offense,” Zangari said about the Tigers. “I was telling them it’s important to swing and limit the times we were tipping. Rifle was picking up tips a lot more than other teams we played, so swinging was for sure the correct move on that. It was a great effort all around. It flowed really well.”

With the win, Summit’s record improved to 1-7 on the season. Summit will next play its senior day game versus Central of Grand Junction at 1 p.m. Saturday at Summit High School. Zangari said the team is opting for Saturday to be senior day rather than Tuesday’s home game versus Eagle Valley just in case another quarantine shuts down either program.

“We played them away, and it was a very winnable game,” Zangari said about Central. “There’s opportunity for a win (Saturday). The key points for the girls (Saturday) are going to be focusing on limiting our errors on our side and keeping pressure on them consistently. As long as we do that, we will be fine.”

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on our residents and businesses. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.

Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.