Huskies get the better of Tigers in season opener
FARMER’S KORNER – In a first match that showed exactly how young and inexperienced this year’s Summit High School volleyball team is, the Tigers dropped their opener to Battle Mountain Thursday in three games, 25-19, 25-15, 25-15.Summit led early on in the second and third games, but was done in by sloppy play befitting a match that was the first varsity competition for all but three of its players.One of those three, senior tri-captain Kendra Carlberg, thought things could have gone better, but said she knows the Tigers’ early season record won’t be an accurate measuring stick.”We’ve improved so incredibly much that tonight’s loss isn’t a big deal,” said Karlberg, who led Summit with nine digs. “We gave a lot of dumb points away.”
Poor communication, missed opportunities at the net and a seasoned opponent all contributed to the Tigers’ woes, which were punctuated by a second-game stretch that saw Battle Mountain score 14 straight points.Still, the Huskies (1-0) play year round as a club team, and boast one of the mountains’ better outside hitters in southpaw Crystin Rodrick. While Summit struggled at times to handle the ball and make accurate passes, Battle Mountain’s chemistry yielded no such trouble.”That was a good team; it was like they had magic wands the way they passed the ball,” said first-year SHS coach Gary Sorensen.Although Sorensen noted his team’s communication struggles (“we have to talk much more in scramble situations”), like Carlberg he walked away relatively upbeat.
“I’m always unhappy when we lose, but as long as we play better each time we’ll get to the point where we put ’em in the win column instead of the loss column,” said Sorensen, who coached boys teams in Wisconsin for nearly 30 years before arriving at Summit this fall.One thing that should help make that happen is the powerful play of sophomore Anicia Santos. Starting her first varsity match on Thursday, the 5-foot-11 sparkplug led the Tigers with seven kills and was verbally energizing to the rest of the team after each of her spikes.Sorensen said after the match that he intends to make a more concerted effort to get the ball to Santos as senior setter Sara Griffin becomes more comfortable with her role in the middle.”She should be our go-to player,” the coach said of Santos.
Another Summit player who rose to the occasion in her first varsity test was outside hitter Shea Dickey. The 5-foot-7 junior finished with four kills and five digs, and tied with junior Rachel Fridkis for the team lead in service points with five. Fridkis also led the Tigers with eight assists.With their first match now behind them, the Tigers should gain valuable experience in their next two tests – at Clear Creek on Saturday and at home against Woodland Park on Tuesday – before opening league play Sept. 17 against Conifer.”Most of our mistakes tonight are errors that we can fix,” said Santos.Devon O’Neil can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 231, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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