LONGMONT — The Mead volleyball team approached the 2016 season knowing they were going to have to dig in to Tri-Valley League play almost immediately, and in reality it dictated much of how they prepared themselves this summer.
The Mavericks — a team built around six seniors who have a ton of experience — felt before the very first serve of the year that a league title was one of their more modest goals, as well.
So far, they've walked the walk. In a very business like fashion, Mead ran their league mark to 6-0 on Thursday with a 3-1 win over a good Erie squad, giving themselves a chance to complete the first wave of TVL opponents unblemished should they get past Holy Family next Tuesday.
Given the reputation of teams like Roosevelt, Windsor, Berthoud and the Tigers, that is saying a lot for this group of girls.
"We definitely know a lot of the teams in our conference are coming after us, so we go really hard in practices treating every match like the state tournament," said senior Macy Bourn, who had 14 kills, 14 digs and two aces in the win. "A lot of us have been playing together for a long time, so we know what we need to do and say to help each other and lift each other up.
"We had to come right out of the gate this season and go hard every match."
Mead is one of the more experienced teams in Class 4A, and head coach Michael Dumler said that has swayed their mentality as a team monumentally. When they've been down, which hasn't been witnessed much, they've not been out of it.
"It's not always pretty ... but what I love about this team is the poise they show. They just never get rattled," Dumler said after his team's 25-11, 25-19, 22-25, 25-18 victory. "They may go through some stretches where it's like, 'did we really just do that' but they work themselves out of it.
"We have six leaders on the court. They feed off each other and we're so much further along than last year because we rely on each other."
Despite sweeping Frederick on Tuesday, Erie (9-4 overall) came out largely misfiring on Thursday against the Mavericks (9-2) while the hosts got off to a good start that lasted until midway through set 2.
At that point, Erie finally got the passing to set up a better offense, but an 18-9 deficit was too much to overcome. Mya Michaelson made some impressive stuff blocks through the evening, but the Mavericks's offense was too widespread in the long run.
In addition to Bourn's 14 kills, Sydney Blackburn had 12 and Kaylee Wilburn added 11. Wilburn and Bailee Irwin had six total blocks apiece, as well, and the Mavericks had a lot of success on the serve, including a couple of aces among the final points of the night.
"I think we were a little shocked with how good of a block they had and it took a little while to adjust, and really I just told them we showed up 45 minutes too late," Erie coach Russell Fox said. "Mead is a team that looks good right now, and I know we'll be more prepared for them next time we see them."
The Tigers will try and bounce back Tuesday against Skyline.
Mead 3, Erie 1
At Mead HSErie (9-4, 2-4) 11 19 25 18 Mead (9-2, 6-0) 25 25 22 25
Kills — Mead: Macy Bourn 14, Sydney Blackburn 12, Kaylee Wilburn 11.
Blocks — Mead: Wilburn 6, Bailee Irwin 6, Abbey Glynn 3.
Assists — Mead: Delaney Overlin 20, Nicole Hamann 13.
Aces — Mead: Overlin 4, Blackburn 4, Bourn 2.
Digs — Mead: Bourn 14, Jaycee Docheff 13, Blackburn 12.
Erie statistics were not immediately available.