LONGMONT — The Class 4A No. 2-ranked Longmont volleyball team received a wakeup call on Thursday.
No. 9 Thompson Valley
beat the Trojans in five
games, 21-25, 25-20, 15-25,
25-18, 15-13 in a match that
Longmont let slip away.
The Trojans led 2-1 though three games, but collapsed in the fourth. The Eagles started off the fourth with their best server, Katie Ayres, who opened the game with an ace.
The Eagles jumped out to a 5-1 lead, which Stetson said got the young Trojans into a spot where they weren’t able to come back. The Eagles (9-3 overall, 8-1 in the Class 4A Northern Conference) won the game 25-18.
Stunned and with their confidence shaken, the Trojans (10-3, 8-1) fell 15-13 in the fifth game.
Trojans head coach Holli Stetson said the Trojans learn more from their losses than their wins. What they learned from this one: “I think that consistency played a big part in it, with our net players and defensively,” Stetson said. “I think Thompson Valley did a great job of exposing our weaknesses. Our block wasn’t nearly as efficient as it has been, but I know there are things that we can work on there, as well.
“Overall, I don’t feel there’s anything that isn’t fixable. We have great kids and they want to do their best, so we’ve gotta give them the tools to do that.”
The Eagles’ strategy coming in was to keep their big blockers on Becca Mau. The Trojans’ kills leader had just 10, well below her average. But, Stetson said that was a minor reason for the loss.
“She got blocked a couple of times, but I don’t think that singly changed the outcome,” Stetson said. “I think it was some other things. It was their outside hitters really stepping up and our blocking not being as solid as it needed to be.”
The Eagles had three hitters with double-digit kills: Hannah Creed (20), Meghan Miller (11) and Ayres (10).
Mau said the Trojans just came out complacent after beating the Eagles 3-1 in the teams’ first meeting earlier in the season.
“Honestly, I just feel like we came into the game thinking we beat them last time in four and we could do it, and I really felt like we could do it again,” said Mau, who finished with 30 digs. “But then, somehow they just got in our heads and we just let them have run after run.”
Setter Kelly Graham had an outstanding night with 30 assists, four blocks and nine kills. Diana Olson also kept the Trojans rallies going with 31 digs.
The loss puts the Trojans and Eagles in a tie for the lead atop the 4A Northern Conference, though the Trojans have the slight tiebreaker. They’d rather be outright league champs, but the Trojans now will have to hold off the Eagles to take the title.
“We have to keep going into every match wanting that win, on to the next ball, the next point,” Mau said. “Every game, we gotta find a way to win.”
The Trojans will look to bounce back against Skyline (3-7, 2-4) on Saturday.
Brad Cochi can be reached at email@example.com.
THOMPSON VALLEY 3, LONGMONT 2
At Longmont H.S.
Thomson Valley (9-3, 8-1) 21 25 15 25 15
Longmont (10-3, 8-1) 25 20 25 18 13
Kills — Thompson Valley: Creed 20, Miller 11, Ayres 10. Longmont: Cox 10, Mau 10, Graham 9, Johnson 8, Lacy Haddock 3.
Blocks — Thompson Valley: Miller 2, McCrimmon, Ayres, Creed. Longmont: Lacy Haddock 6, Graham 4, Cox, Mau, Lyndie Haddock, Precht.
Assists — Thompson Valley: Miller 5, McCrimmon. Longmont: Graham 30, Lyndie Haddock.
Aces — Thompson Valley: Ayres 2, Creed, McCrimmon. Longmont: Lacy Haddock, Mau, Graham, Wright.
Digs — Thompson Valley: McCrimmon 25, Miller 19, Creed 16, Ayres 12. Longmont: Olson 31, Mau 30, Graham 16, Wright 16, Cox 8, Lacy Haddock 5, Lyndie Haddock 3, Johnson 3, Precht.