Tigers fight hard but fall to Woodland Park
FARMER’S KORNER – Maybe Sara Olbright is right. Maybe it’s the home crowd.After playing a stellar match on the road to beat Clear Creek 3-1 on Saturday – its first win of the season – the Summit High School volleyball team couldn’t sustain the momentum and dropped its second home match of the year Tuesday to Woodland Park, 3-0.The Panthers (2-0) dominated the first two games, winning 25-17 and 25-16. But after the inexperienced hosts got more comfortable and started playing smarter and with a bit of fire, they mounted a formidable comeback and nearly stole the third game to extend the match. Down 21-20, senior Kendra Carlberg poked home a kill to tie it at 21. Then her classmate Olbright served up an ace to give the Tigers the lead. Unfortunately for a home rooting section that had quickly come to life, the Panthers rattled off three of the final four points to seal the match with a 25-23 win.
According to Olbright, the home gym advantage might not be working in the Tigers’ favor thus far this season.”At home we tend to get nervous, playing in front of the bigger crowd,” she said. “We have to have confidence and roll with it, and not make stupid errors that younger teams make.”Although first-year coach Gary Sorensen likes what he’s seeing in his team’s fight, he’s convinced the youth can be overcome and that the players are capable of more than they showed on Tuesday.”It startles me that you can forget how to play in two days,” he said, referring to the Clear Creek win. “I don’t know how long I can beat the inexperienced drum.”But on the plus side,” he added, “our outside hitters are starting to deal with the block better. They’re hitting past it instead of into it. I applaud that.”
With league play not set to start until a week from Friday, at Conifer, Sorensen is using the opening matches to give everyone a chance at proving herself on the varsity level (only three players had any varsity experience going into this fall). Then, once league play begins, he said he’ll stick to a more set rotation.On Tuesday, in addition to Olbright, Carlberg and sophomore Anicia Santos – all of whom figure to play a large role in the Tigers’ season – juniors Liz Shields and Karen Lee impressed their coach with solid play.He also said he liked what he saw from junior outside hitter Shea Dickey, who tied with Santos for a team-best five kills. Carlberg and Olbright finished with nine and eight digs, respectively, and senior setter Sara Griffin tallied eight assists.Balance key in Summit’s first win
Playing at Clear Creek on Saturday, a balanced SHS offensive attack led Sorensen to his first career win coaching girls (he spent the previous 29 years coaching boys). The Tigers beat the 3A Golddiggers 3-1, rebounding from a 24-26 loss in the first game to take the next three, 25-14, 25-13, 25-22.”Basically, every fundamental category was a little better, which is what we’re looking for,” said Sorensen.Santos and Carlberg led SHS with seven kills apiece, and Olbright added six. Carlberg’s kills came on 15 attacks, for a robust hitting percentage of .467.Santos added 11 digs to her effort, Rachel Fridkis led the team with 10 assists, and Griffin finished with four aces and eight assists.The Tigers (1-2) are next in action Saturday in Denver at the Machebeuf Tournament.
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