LONGMONT — In a clash of the Tri-Valley League’s top two squads, the Mead volleyball team played Windsor tough for long stretches.
It was the short stretches that led to Wizards runs that did the Mavericks in. Despite leading nine times, the Mavericks fell 25-15, 25-14, 25-23 at home on Thursday night.
Coming in with matching 3-0 conference records, the two opponents were tied at the top. It was not the time the Mavericks (6-2, 3-1) wanted to be off their game.
“I thought we should have competed better,” Mead coach Rachael Ayers said. “I think the girls got a good picture of what they have to become. Better early than late.”
Though the final scores all went to the Wizards (5-0, 4-0), who have yet to lose a game through five matches, all three games were back and forth early on.
Game one and game two were both tied 10-10. In the first, the Mavericks trailed 18-15 until the Wizards finished the game with an 8-0 run. In the second, the Mavericks sputtered to a 15-4 finish at the tail end of the tie.
“We came into this game playing matches that we knew we would come out on top,” senior setter Morgan Brim said. “This game we didn’t bring our energy and that’s how they got the runs and that’s how they ended up winning this one. We definitely underestimated them.”
Brim finished with 31 assists.
The Mavericks mounted a late run of their own after falling from an 8-8 tie to trailing 20-13 in the third game. After struggling in the first two games, senior kills leader Molly Neiley led a furious comeback at the end of the third. Of her team-high seven kills, Neiley had four of them during the Mavericks’ 10-5 run in the third game.
“Our energy was kind of down but we played pretty good as a team,” junior outside hitter Allison Majerus said. “We got more fight in the third. We wanted to play and win.”
The Mavericks’ two sophomores, Maddie Uilk and Kailey Klibbe, were the bright spot. Uilk led the team with six blocks and had six kills. Klibbe had a game-high 18 digs and the Mavericks’ only ace in the match.
Through eight matches, Uilk is the Mavericks’ blocks leader with 16 while Klibbe leads in digs with 99.
“We’ve gotten a lot of growth from our sophomores on the floor,” Ayers said. “That was a bright spot for us.”
Ayers thought the Mavericks served and passed well. But when the errors came, they came in bunches. Ayers said they learned some tough lessons and will take what they can from the game and apply it to their upcoming match against Erie (1-4, 1-3) on Tuesday.
Follow Brad on Twitter: @BradCochi
Windsor 3, Mead 0
At Mead HS
Windsor (5-0, 4-0) 25 25 25
Mead (6-2, 3-1) 15 14 23
Kills — Windsor: Pancost 16, Geist 10, Spykstra 9, Van Allman 4, Huston 2, Pribble; Mead: Neiley 7, Majerus 7, Uilk 6, Lutz 5, Martinez 4, Brim 2.
Blocks — Windsor: Spykstra 3, Van Allman, Huston, Pancost; Mead: Uilk 6, Brim 5, Lutz 4, Martinez 3, Neiley 2, Majerus.
Assists — Windsor: Huston 35, Van Allman 2; Mead: Brim 31.
Aces — Windsor: Pribble 2, Mikkelson, Pancost, Huston; Mead: Klibbe.
Digs — Windsor: Pribble 18, Van Allman 16, Mikkelson 11, Pancost 12, Huston 6, Geist, Geuke, Glahn; Mead: Klibbe 18, Brim 17, Neiley 10, Haller 8, Feaster 7, Martinez 4, Rayhill 2, Lutz 2, Reeves.