Confident Tigers gunning for state berth
FARMER’S KORNER – The Summit High School volleyball team appears to be one of the top two teams in its four-team regional. On Saturday, it plans to prove it.
If it does, Summit would advance to the Class 4A State Tournament for the second time in three years.
The Region B Tournament begins at 10 a.m. Saturday when Summit faces Evergreen. The Tigers (22-2) beat the Cougars (14-8) in straight games in a Sept. 12 Jeffco League match. Summit’s second match is against Pueblo South (15-6), which Summit thinks is also beatable.
If all goes according to the Tigers’ plan, by the time they square off against host Brighton (23-1), both teams will be headed to the Denver Coliseum, and only state seeding will be on the line.
“Let’s not put pressure on ourselves,” coach Tim Andrulaitis told his team this week at practice. “Let’s go out and win the first two games. Then we can go into Brighton relaxed. That’s when we play our best anyway.”
Last year the Tigers lost regional games to Pueblo West and Cortez to end their season short of state. The Tigers are happy these nemeses ended up in different regions this year. Still, Summit knows it has to earn a state berth.
“We still have to play our best,” Andrulaitis said. “Evergreen’s gonna be ready for us. They know what we’re all about. They know our game.”
Andrulaitis has added some new offensive plays this week in hopes of staying one step ahead of the competition.
“We have a whole new offense going into regionals,” said the coach. “There’s a definite scouting report on our team and how to beat us. So I have to mix it up a little bit.”
Practice this week has been a mixture of implementing the new plays and running. The team is trying to avoid the fatigue that affected it in its district loss to Windsor. This week’s tournament is three games as opposed to five at districts.
“You could definitely see it in the way we played,” said senior Julie Wallace. “It’s not going to be as much of a factor (at regionals), but these games are going to be a lot harder and more competitive than the games on Saturday.”
Summit took Thursday off from practice. Today, the Tigers travel to Brighton, where they will stay overnight in preparation for Saturday’s 10 a.m. start.
The Tigers said they know very little about Pueblo South or Brighton. But their schedule allows them to scout both teams after they play Evergreen. Summit needs to win two of their three matches to advance to state.
“We got a good draw,” Andrulaitis said. “We have a really good chance.”
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