DENVER -- The Longmont volleyball team had lost the momentum, and the Trojans were on the cusp of perhaps losing so much more.
But then the Trojans did exactly what good teams do when they get into tight predicaments on big stages -- Longmont made sure it got the ball to its best finisher.
In this case, that would be junior Becca Mau. The Trojans' standout outside hitter came up big when her team needed it most, helping to lift Longmont to a 25-16, 25-20, 22-25, 25-18 win against Northern League rival Broomfield in both teams' first match of pool play Friday at the Class 4A state tournament at the Denver Coliseum.
"I think our setters do a great job of selecting a hitter that they know is in a good position to perform and get us a point," Longmont coach Holli Stetson said. "Becca has been our go-to person in the past, and she continues to be very, very strong for us. I think it was a decision made by the setters, and it certainly wasn't going to get any argument from me."
Longmont (25-1) cruised to a 25-16 victory in the first set and held off Broomfield in the second set, scoring six of the final seven points to put the Eagles in a 2-0 hole. Longmont clearly was thinking sweep, but Broomfield did not go away quietly.
The Eagles stayed alive with a 25-22 win in the third set, claiming four of the final five points to put the Trojans on their heels. Broomfield (15-11) carried the momentum into the fourth set, streaking to an 8-3 lead. But that's when Mau came alive.
Taking advantage of pinpoint passes from Elena Michalski (28 assists) and Lyndie Haddock (23 assists), Mau promptly knocked down four consecutive spikes, sparking the Trojans to a 5-0 burst that tied the game at 8-8. From that point, Longmont outscored Broomfield 16-6 before the Eagles used a late flurry to make the final count closer than how the set played out.
"I definitely feel like we were feeling a little frustrated," Mau said. "We knew we were the better team and we didn't really want the Broomfield run to happen anymore. I kind of looked over at Elena and I was like, 'Get me the ball and I'll take care of it.' She got me the ball and we got those consecutive kills, which was really great and helped our team out a lot."When we have really big plays like that, we really thrive off of it."
Mau finished with 18 kills and Lacy Haddock paced a balanced Longmont attack with 16 kills, as six different Trojans players compiled at least seven kills. Cloie Cox led the Longmont defense with 24 digs, while Lacy Haddock added 21 and Mau contributed 18.
The Trojans can secure a berth in the 4A semifinals with a win in their pool play finale Saturday morning against Coronado.
"I feel like we could have played better each individually, but I think also the nerves got to us," Cox said. "All in all it turned out good and we got the win. I think we really need to mentally prepare (Friday night) because Coronado will be just as big of a battle."
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Longmont 3, Broomfield 1
At Denver Colisuem
Broomfield (15-11) 16 20 25 18
Longmont (25-1) 25 25 22 25
Kills -- Broomfield: Boyer 17, Kaiser 12, Fankell 6; Longmont: Lacy Haddock 16, Mau 8, Wetterstrom 8, Lyndie Haddock 8.
Blocks -- Broomfield: Biggerstaff 2; Longmont: Wetterstrom 4, Precht 4.
Assists -- Broomfield: Van Tine 36; Longmont: Michalski 28, Lyndie Haddock 23.
Aces -- Broomfield: Boyer 1, Van Tine 1; Longmont: Lacy Haddock 2, Mau 2, Michalski 2.
Digs -- Broomfield: Boyer 21, Dye 12, Kaiser 12; Longmont: Cox 24, Lacy Haddock 21, Johnson 16.