LONGMONT — The Silver Creek volleyball team was searching for some momentum down the stretch run of its season.
The Class 4A No. 9-ranked Raptors kicked off that momentum with a 3-2 win over rival and No. 6 Longmont on the Trojans’ home floor Tuesday night.
In the first of a string of games against teams they lost to earlier, the Raptors won 26-24, 23-25, 24-26, 25-18, 15-9.
The visiting Raptors (13-4, 9-3 in the 4A Northern Conference) came out swinging and jumped on the Trojans (13-4, 10-2), who beat them 3-1 on Sept. 15, for a 12-1 lead to open the match. The Trojans clawed back to tie the game at 24-24, but the Raptors held strong.
“Longmont’s always a tough game; they’re always a good team,” senior Emily Lyneis said. “You always have to come out and fight because they’re never going to roll over and die. You have to fight to the end. In our first game, everything just clicked together. We played as a team and just pushed through games.”
Lyneis led the Raptors with 20 kills and 29 digs and paced her team out to the strong start. But despite the Raptors jumping on them early, the Trojans rallied to win the second and third games behind some power hitting from Becca Mau and Dailyn Johnson catching fire.
“I just tried to stay calm and it kept working so I just kept doing it,” Johnson said. “I just tried to stay focused and it paid off.”
Both Mau (24 kills) and Johnson (13 kills) were on the receiving end of pass after pass from senior setter Kelley Graham, who finished with 48 assists.
Trailing 2-1 after Game 3, the Raptors found themselves in do-or-die mode. But, they didn’t overreact to the added pressure.
“In the second and third set, we made too many errors on our side,” Raptors head coach Nicholle Chambers said. “When you’re playing against a great team like that, you really can’t afford to do that. We just talked about staying composed, better ball control and making sure we were staying together as a unit.”
The Raptors rallied behind some dynamic play from senior middle Kayla Marchus to dominate Game 4, 25-18. Her strong play and veteran leadership, and the blockers up front fending off shots from Mau, Cloie Cox and Lacy Haddock, guided the Raptors to a 15-9 win in Game 5.
“Our goal for the rest of the season is to win out and we have some tough games,” said Marchus, who had 15 kills and led the Raptors with three blocks. “We just have this drive where we just wanna finish strong.
“We just kept our composure. Even when we went down, we had to stay composed and regroup after every point.”
At times a bitter rivalry, the Trojans and Raptors were on common ground before the match. The Raptors presented a poster and a check for $1,650 they’d raised for Olivia Current, a Trojans senior who was diagnosed with leukemia just before the season.
Each team now has two games remaining and plenty to play for.
The Raptors will face Mountain View (11-6, 8-4) and then Thompson Valley (12-4, 10-2) as they have an outside shot at the conference title. The Raptors are a game behind Thompson Valley and Longmont.
“I think it gives us some positive momentum,” Chambers said. “We always carry some kind of momentum and mindset. I think this gives us more confidence heading into the next two weeks.”
The Trojans, who dropped into a first-place tie with Thompson Valley, will take on Centaurus (2-15, 0-12) and Mountain View.
Brad Cochi can be reached at email@example.com.
Silver Creek 3, Longmont 2
At Longmont H.S.
Silver Creek (13-4, 9-3) 26 23 24 25 15
Longmont (13-4, 10-2) 24 25 26 18 9
Kills — Silver Creek: Lyneis 20, Marchus 15, Monier 13, M. Sulek 7, R. Hubert 6, Phillips. Longmont: Mau 24, Johnson 13, Lacy Haddock 8, Graham 8, Precht 3, Cox 2, Lyndie Haddock.
Blocks — Silver Creek: Marchus 3, Monier 2, R. Hubert, Hertzog, Lyneis, M. Sulek. Longmont: Johnson 4, Lyndie Haddock 3, Lacy Haddock 2, Mau, Graham.
Assists — Silver Creek: Storaci 25, Lyneis 23, Marchus 3, Phillips 3, Hertzog 2, M. Sulek, Monier, R. Hubert. Longmont: Graham 48, Lyndie Haddock 2, Cox.
Aces — Silver Creek: Monier, Marchus, Storaci. Longmont: Graham 3, Lyndie Haddock 3, Johnson 2, Mau.
Digs — Silver Creek: Lyneis 29, Storaci 16, Marchus 16, R. Hubert 10, Monier 7, S. Hubert 7, Davis 7, M. Sulek 6, Phillips 2, Hertzog. Longmont: Mau 31, Olson 30, Graham 19, Cox 14, Lyndie Haddock 10, Wright 6, Lacy Haddock 4, Precht 3, Johnson 2.