Summit volleyball rounds out season of growth with back-to-back wins
State girls rugby tournament rescheduled for Sunday in Colorado Springs
BRECKENRIDGE — It was a weekend of team bonding and season-ending victories for the Summit High School varsity girls volleyball team on Saturday, as the Tigers concluded their 2019 campaign with an 8-15 record.
Though the results may not seem ideal, eight wins is a three victory improvement for the Tigers compared to last season, an accomplishment second-year head coach Kelly Schneweis believes signifies success this season.
“Once we got that first one more win from last season,” the coach said, “you could tell that the girls were super thrilled about even being one game better than last year. Lo and behold we got three more wins, so hopefully that contributes to more excitement.”
The Tigers played in Saturday’s nine-team Golden Tournament after losing at Eagle Valley on Thursday night three sets to none: 25-17, 27-25 and 25-14. Summit began the tournament in a round-robin pool with Golden and Berthoud. Against the home team, Golden, Schneweis said the Tigers struggled with the Demons’ physicality and serve, losing the best-out-of-three-sets match 25-5 and 25-19.
In their second match against Berthoud, the Tigers passed better, winning the second set 25-19 after dropping the first set 25-11. Berthoud won the tiebreaker third set 15-12 to send the Tigers into a contingency round-robin pool of three teams who failed to advance. Schneweis said the Tigers took their momentum from the Berthoud match into their final two games, with two-sets-to-none wins over Littleton and Northridge.
“They were pretty substantial wins,” Schneweis said. “We were serving very aggressively, our block was working for us, we played pretty well.”
Summit defeated Northridge in straight sets 25-20 and 25-13. Schneweis attributed the Tigers win to their tough serving that kept the Grizzlies out of system and struggling to run much of an offense.
Before the final game of the season versus Littleton, Schneweis had a message for her team.
“Right before warm ups we chatted about how this was our last game together as a team,” Schneweis said, “and I encouraged our junior players to really enjoy the moment with our seniors. It’s the last game they were going to be playing with them, and it encouraged a lot of excitement and fun. That there’s no reason to be sad and they can make this a very memorable match.”
From the first volley the Tigers came out with a strong start, something Schneweis said Summit has struggled with at times this season. Able to start ahead of the Lions and push for points helped the team click early. The Tigers defeated the Lions in straight sets 25-13 and 25-11.
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
“It was really an exciting match to watch,” Schneweis said. “They finally put everything together that they’ve learned all season. They looked like a uniform team.”
For the Tigers, the overnight team bonding trip of competing in the state tournament after a dinner and night together, Schneweis hopes, will help transition the team onto bigger and better things next season. As the head coach reflected on the season, she remembered it as one of high energy, where the 2019 Tigers were eager to be at practice and to make a commitment to the program to persevere.
With eight top varsity players departing, the current juniors will have big shoes to fill. The Tigers will return to the varsity squad starting middle Olivia Brewer, setter Mackenzie Westenskow and defensive player and libero Mya Nicholds. Joining them will be rising seniors-to-be Olivia Westall, who figures to play on the right side or middle, and Kalee Padilla, who spent a few weeks playing for varsity this season and potentially can play middle or outside hitter next season.
Then there’s Summit’s longer term future. This season, the Summit Middle School team went undefeated. Schneweis is excited to see how those players can help strengthen the Tigers program next fall.
“Coming up from the younger grades there is so much improvement happening at younger levels,” Schneweis said. “And when they come to the high school, the coaching staff will be able to teach more advanced techniques rather than starting at a more basic level. It’s a more advanced group that will be coming in, maybe one of the most advanced groups coming into Summit High School at the freshman level.”
Girls rugby states set for Sunday
The Rugby Colorado high school state championship tournament will take place this Sunday in Colorado Springs, two weeks after the event was canceled due to winter weather.
The all-day tournament will be relocated to Garry Berry Stadium in Colorado Springs from Boulder High School in Boulder. The top side from the Summit High School girls rugby program will be going for their 12th consecutive state championship while junior and younger Tiger teams will also compete.
Summit’s top competition at states figures to be the two teams that defeated the Tigers earlier this season: Arapahoe and Glenwood Springs.
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