BROOMFIELD — So often on Tuesday night, Legacy senior Simone Borelli was ready to celebrate a kill with her teammates as they took on Front Range League foe Rocky Mountain at the Legacy gym.
But all too many times it seemed, they were left awestruck by having to get back in game mode and set up a block after the Lobos' back row made a huge play.
Coincidentally, Annika Larson was wearing the jersey that stuck out being the visitor's libero, but all eyes were on her because of her game-changing plays in a 3-1 Rocky Mountain volleyball victory.
"It really was back row versus back row in this one," said Borelli, whose team dropped to 5-3 in the FRL with a 25-21, 27-25, 20-25, 25-21 loss. "I mean, it was tough putting on some awesome swings like we were and having them get picked up (by Rocky Mountain). (Larson) made the difference and won that game for them."
The relative evenness of the attack on each side was tipped toward the Lobos simply because Larson, a sophomore who racked up 36 digs, made some great passes that allowed the Lobos to keep working in system. Alie McAndaffer and Myles Hilbert — the daughter of Colorado State volleyball coach Tom — also chipped in defensively.
"I really kept trying to tell the girls, hit it anywhere but (to Larson) and you could see she moved everywhere and made some great plays," first year Legacy head coach Kerry Morgan said. "She was fantastic.
"A big thing for us tonight, too, was going into the third set we had handed them 30 errors. That's not how we accomplish a win, and there was stuff we had to work on."
Perhaps the biggest frustration for Legacy (11-8 overall) was that the Lightning had just defeated Fairview, one of the FRL's front runners, last week in four sets. To Borelli, that showed the Lightning's potential even though they have just four seniors.
However, it was a slow start for the hosts Tuesday. Rocky Mountain (10-5, 5-3) led Set 1 by as much as 19-11 and Set 2 by a 16-9 count before Legacy rallied to make those ones close. In Set 2, the Lobos won off two Legacy hitting errors while it was tied at 25-25.
Four aces helped Legacy to a Set 3 win, but Rocky jumped to a 9-2 lead in Set 4 with the help of six kills and with the score 19-17 were able to knock down five more kills and an ace. Appropriately, Rocky won match point off another huge dig from Larson.
"We have so much potential it's hard to see us live up to it by beating Fairview and then drop back down with this one," said Borelli, who pitched in with 22 digs, 33 assists and three aces. "We just need to play up to that every match. It's just confidence with us and playing like every ball is ours."
The Lightning, who were led in kills by sophomore Kira Thomsen (14), will get a chance to bounce back Thursday against Broomfield in what Borelli described as "always the most fun match of the year."
Rocky Mountain 3, Legacy 1
At Legacy HSRocky Mountain (10-5, 5-3) 25 27 20 25
Legacy (11-8, 5-3) 21 25 25 21
Kills — Legacy: Kira Thomsen 14, Kylea Tallbear 11.
Blocks — Legacy: Thomsen 3, Emelia McBride 3, Bailee Newham 3.
Assists — Legacy: Simone Borelli 33.
Aces — Legacy: Borelli 3, Emily Brandenstein 2, Thomsen 2.
Digs — Legacy: Borelli 22, Tallbear 16.