Summit volleyball loses to Eagle Valley before quarantine forces team off the court |

Summit volleyball loses to Eagle Valley before quarantine forces team off the court

Tigers can return to practice April 16

Summit High School varsity girls volleyball player Mya Nicholds spikes the ball during a match against Palisade High School on Saturday, March 27, in Frisco. On Thursday, April 1, Summit fell in straight sets to Eagle Valley.
Photo by Ashley Low

A challenging season for the Summit High School varsity girls volleyball team became more difficult Thursday and Friday with a loss to Eagle Valley followed by a teamwide 14-day quarantine in response to a positive novel coronavirus test result.

The Tigers fell to the Devils on Thursday in straight sets, 25-10, 25-20 and 25-9. Tigers head coach Lex Zangari said Eagle presented Summit with a really strong serve that threw off the Tigers in the first set. Zangari said the Tigers struggled across the board with defending the tough-to-read serves as the Devils played with the confident, steady nature that Zangari remembers from when she was a student-athlete.

“They came out with more fight and calm and composure,” Zangari said about the Devils. “We definitely improved after the half of the first set once we realized this is what it’s going to look like the rest of the match. But it’s a huge momentum-killer when you start out a match down 8 points or so. It’s hard to keep yourself mentally engaged.”

Zangari commended Bella Speer’s proactive play, as the junior did her best to read where the open spots were on the Devils side of the court to put balls down. The coach also said senior Olivia Brewer picked up her play in the second and third sets, helping to lead the Tigers on a second-set comeback that fell short. Zangari credited the play on the outside of senior CJ Novotna and junior Taylor Tulio for providing consistency and effectiveness with the placement of their swings.

“It was another taste of what it feels like to be really cohesive, engaged and aggressive,” Zangari said. “And unfortunately, we are still seeing the ups and downs of that.”

Zangari said Summit’s struggles through an 0-5 start to the season come back to the mental element of the game.

“I think they have the ability to play well and push through all of the circumstances, and I think they know they can do it, and I believe I know they can do it,” Zangari said. “But I always tell them, ’It’s a decision. You have to go into every game with the intention and willingness to be great.’”

The Tigers quarantine means the team can’t return to practice or a game until April 16. The quarantine spans six games — more than one-third of the team’s season — before they are able to host Central of Grand Junction on April 17.

The only Tigers games after that are on the road April 19 at Glenwood Springs and at home April 20 versus Eagle Valley. Zangari said the possibility remains that some games could be rescheduled for after April 20, which is during the district’s spring break recess.

“This motivates me a lot more — hopefully with that last week or two with them after the quarantine period ends — to make it fun for them,” Zangari said.

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