LONGMONT — In a matchup of preseason top-10 volleyball teams, the No. 3 Longmont Trojans played true to their higher rank, defeating the No. 10 Broomfield Eagles on Thursday.
The Trojans were up-and-down, winning 25-23, 25-17, 15-25, 25-8 over their 4A Northern Conference opponents.
The Trojans made things tough on themselves early by making mental mistakes. But, despite giving up eight points on bad serves, they battled back from a 16-11 deficit to win game one, 25-23. Senior captain Kelly Graham was happy with how they fought off first-match jitters.
“Serving is one of our main goals this season, so I think it was just the nerves starting off,” Graham said. “Once we starting rolling, we got so much better. It was great to start off our season so strong.”
The Trojans cleaned it up in the second game, winning 25-17.
Backed into a corner, the Eagles stormed out to a 10-2 lead in the third game and held on to win 25-15.
As quickly as the Eagles opened the door, the Trojans slammed it shut. The home team charged out to and early 10-point lead and dominated the fourth game, winning 25-8.
The Trojans surprised themselves with how poorly they served in the first game. But the Trojans, who have just one 6-footer, also surprised themselves with how well they blocked at the net.
Sophomore Dailyn Johnson, who stands 5-foot-10, had seven blocks to lead the Trojans, who finished with 21.
“We just talked about being determined and being composed,” Longmont head coach Holli Stetson said. “We talked about forcing Broomfield to earn the points they get instead of gaining them off of our errors, which was a big, big piece of the third game.”
Trojans senior Olivia Current, who was recently diagnosed with leukemia, was on a break from treatment Thursday and was in attendance. Prior to the match, she had a tearful talk with the team, who have four sophomores in the rotation, and was pleased with the youngsters’ play in her absence.
“I’m so proud of the way they stepped up because it’s like a totally new team for them with lots of young players,” Current said.
It was a big win for the Trojans, but they’re not putting too much stock in preseason rankings and season-opening wins.
“The preseason polls come out in August, so they don’t mean much if we’re not there in November,” Stetson said.
And the Eagles aren’t going to fret too long over one loss.
“We’re still just working out kinks,” Eagles head coach Monica Tuz said. “(Lauren) Knox, our big hitter, this was the first time she’s really been able to play, and we have new middles this year. So, I didn’t like the last game, but I liked the other three.”
The Trojans swept the season series 3-0 last season, and the Eagles didn’t win a game.
Brad Cochi can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LONGMONT 3, BROOMFIELD 1
At Longmont H.S.
Broomfield (0-1, 0-1) 23 17 25 8
Longmont (1-0, 1-0) 25 25 15 25
Kills — Broomfield: Not available. Longmont: Mau 9, Precht 8, Lacy Haddock 6, Johnson 5, Cox 5, Graham 4, Lyndie Haddock 2.
Blocks — Broomfield: Not available. Longmont: Johnson 7, Lacey Haddock 4, Graham 4, Cox 2, Lyndie Haddock 2, Mau, Precht.
Assists — Broomfield: Not available. Longmont: Graham 26, Olson, Wright.
Aces — Broomfield: Not available. Longmont: Cox 3, Johnson 2, Lacey Haddock, Precht.
Digs — Broomfield: Not available. Longmont: Cox 13, Olson 12, Graham 8, Mau 8, Wright 4, Lacey Haddock 3, Precht 3, Johnson 2.