Olivia Storaci was Longmont High School's emergency response personnel on Saturday afternoon, an important piece to the Trojans' mastery of their volleyball regional tournament at LHS.
Hosting a three-team field with the chance to advance to next weekend's Class 4A state volleyball tournament, the Trojans were hit with an unfortunate surprise right before getting going Saturday morning, when libero Jensen Walker was injured during warmups and was forced out of action.
The Trojans reacted brilliantly in the face of adversity, however, with Storaci switching from primary setter to libero and freshman Annika Wetterstrom running the offense. Longmont moved past Woodland Park 3-0, and then beat Valor Christian 3-1 to punch their ticket to state.
"It was a day of adversity for us, for sure," said coach Holli Stetson, whose team is now 21-4. "We had two girls take on roles they didn't expect when they woke up this morning, and they did a tremendous job."
The Trojans rallied quickly around Walker, who may have suffered a concussion, to beat the Panthers 25-10, 25-21, 25-16. Storaci had five aces and eight digs while still accumulating nine assists. Wetterstrom had 17 assists, with her sister Sydney contributing 11 kills.
Sydney Wetterstrom had 27 kills and four blocks, and Madi Gaibler added three blocks in the day's second match, a 25-17, 25-20, 20-25, 25-22 victory over Valor.
"Madi Gaibler was on fire in the middle against Valor," Stetson said.
Storaci was happy to move back to a position she has played a bit before, though it had been awhile.
"It was our goal today to just be as resilient as we could as a team," Storaci said. "Jensen was still rooting for us, and us working hard for her really was what made us successful. I have played the position before, and it was kind of nice to play something new today."
Longmont 3, Woodland Park 0
At Longmont HSWoodland Park 10 21 16 Longmont 25 25 25
Kills — Longmont: S. Wetterstrom 11, Gaibler 9, Kusbel 5, Berger 5.
Blocks — Longmont: S. Wetterstrom 3, Kusbel 3, McKinney 3.
Assists — Longmont: A. Wetterstrom 17, Storaci 9.
Aces — Longmont: Storaci 5, S. Wetterstrom 2, McKinney 2.
Digs — Longmont: McKinney 12, S. Wetterstrom 12, Storaci 8.
Longmont 3, Valor Christian 1
At Longmont HSValor Christian 17 20 25 22 Longmont 25 25 20 25
Kills — Longmont: S. Wetterstrom 27, Berger 8, Gaibler 1.
Blocks — Longmont: S. Wetterstrom 4, Gaibler 3, Kusbel 2.
Assists — Longmont: A. Wetterstrom 49, Storaci 4.
Aces — Longmont: McKinney 4, A. Wetterstrom 3.
Digs — Longmont: Storaci 20, McKinney 18, Snyder 15.