Summit volleyball loses to Steamboat on Senior Night
BRECKENRIDGE — Despite a straight-set loss to Steamboat, Thursday’s Senior Night and ceremony for the Summit High School varsity volleyball team (3-12) put into perspective what this senior group means for an improving Tigers program.
The 2019 seniors will be remembered as a group that helped to improve the quality of volleyball and bring together younger and older players in head coach Kelly Schneweis’ second season.
Kyla Hildebrand was one of those seniors leaders. And her inability to choose one underclassmen to read a goodbye statement to her, as part of the Tigers’ Senior Night ceremony, speaks to the bond the program has cultivated this season.
Each year before the Senior Night game, the ceremony involves an underclassman player reading a prewritten statement to a departing senior. While the senior stands beside their immediate family, gifts and flowers in hand, the underclassman they selected describes what the senior meant to them.
Hildebrand couldn’t decided between Bella Spear and Ashlyn Mullaly. So she chose both.
“It’s our last hurrah, saying our thank-you’s for the season and our goodbyes, as well,” Hildebrand said about the ceremony. “It’s something we can share together, all of the seniors. We’ve been together through fifth-grade volleyball, so this is just a way for us to celebrate.”
After the emotional ceremony, the Tigers dropped the first set 25-19 before scrapping back and going toe-to-toe with Steamboat (9-12) in the second and third sets.
In the second set, the Tigers took a 7-6 lead after a spike by senior Courtney Brown, Summit’s first real lead of the game. Then Summit junior Mackenzie Westenskow had a spike for an 11-7 lead that forced a Steamboat timeout.
Sept. 5: vs. Grand Junction, L, 3-1
Sept. 14: at Rifle, W, 3-2
Sept. 17: vs. Aspen, W, 3-0
Sept. 19: vs. Battle Mountain, L, 3-1
Sept. 24: at West Grand, L, 3-1
Sept. 28: vs. Palisade, 1 p.m.
Oct. 1: vs. Glenwood Springs, L 3-1
Oct. 3: at Steamboat Springs, 6:30 p.m.
Oct. 4-5: Runner-up at Battle Mountain tournament
Oct. 8: vs. Eagle Valley, L, 3-1
Oct. 10: at Battle Mountain, L, 3-0
Oct. 17: at Glenwood Springs, L, 3-0
Oct. 19: at Palisade, L, 3-0
Oct. 24: vs. Steamboat Springs, L, 3-0
Oct. 26: vs. Rifle, W, 3-1
Oct. 31: at Eagle Valley, 1 p.m.
Nov. 2: at Golden tournament, TBD
Summit senior Rose Kent had a spike of her own to give the Tigers a 16-10 lead later in the second set, a few points before Hildebrand mustered a great dig to lead to a Brown spike and 19-13 lead. Steamboat then rallied to take a 22-21 lead before senior Taryn Wade made a crucial play to tie it at 22-22. Ultimately, the Tigers lost the second set 23-22.
In the third set, Summit’s highlight was an 11-9 lead on a spike by senior Anna Confer that Steamboat wasn’t able to dig. Steamboat won the third set 25-23 to win the match.
After the game, Schneweis was complimentary of Summit’s blocking and passing, pointing to her middles — Wade, junior Olivia Brewer and senior Christina Koetteritz — for reading Steamboat’s setter well.
With just three games and a tournament remaining in Summit’s season — including one final home game at 1 p.m. Saturday versus Rifle — Schneweis is proud of the foundation, anchored around their defensive skill, the seniors laid for the future.
“I’ve got some really, really great defenders,” Schneweis said. “And off the court, this group is welcoming. As a whole, I think they’ve brought the entire program together. We do a lot of upper- and lowerclassmen stuff together, and the senior leadership built the excitement and spirit of volleyball as a whole. Hopefully that will continue.”
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