LONGMONT — The quick set and vicious pound has become the trademark move for Longmont middle blocker Dailyn Johnson.
The play routinely provokes, “Go Dailyn, go Dailyn, go,” chants from the Trojans student section. More importantly, it fires up her teammates.
Johnson and her lethal surprise attack led a balanced Trojans squad that swept the cross-town rival Silver Creek Raptors 25-21, 25-15, 25-13 at Silver Creek on Tuesday night.
“The big thing is just getting there,” Johnson said. “If the setter can see you, she’ll put it where you want it. Then all you’ve got to do is pound it.”
After weathering a late Raptors run in game one, the Trojans began to hit their stride against the Raptors (2-7, 1-4), their fifth Northern Conference-opponent.
The visiting Trojans (9-0, 5-0) pulled away with 9-0 and 6-0 runs in the second game. In the final game, they led the entire way for a convincing 12-point win.
“It felt pretty smooth,” said Johnson, who also had two blocks. “At the beginning we were a little rough but we just needed to pick it up and we did.”
Still undefeated, Johnson said the Trojans know they have targets on their backs and won’t underestimate anyone. Johnson added eight kills to a balanced attack that also featured nine each from sophomore Lacy Haddock and junior kills leader Becca Mau.
Seven Trojans entered the match with 20 or more kills this season. Although the Trojans offense frequently features double-digit kills from Mau, Tuesday’s balanced attack did not surprise Haddock.
“We have a really well-rounded team with Dailyn, who’s killing it in the middle and Maddie (Precht),” Haddock said. “We’re so confident with each other and we have each other’s backs and trust each other.”
The match wasn’t as close as the back-and-forth first game promised it would be. But the Raptors never let up and neither did either student section, adding to the momentous impact of the biannual match’s rivalry feel.
Trojans head coach Holli Stetson is no stranger to the crowd’s potential impact on the outcome. She was glad to see her players resist it.
“It’s always very emotional,” Stetson said. “You think you’re prepared physically and mentally and then the emotional part comes in. It can be tough to handle sometimes but we approached it as a game where we needed to execute and take care of business. We did what we had to do.”
Another solid performance from sophomore outside hitter Elizabeth Potter led the Raptors. Entering the match fourth in the Northern in kills (81), kills per game (2.8) and hitting percentage (.280), she had a team-high eight kills and 12 digs against the Trojans.
Junior libero Margaret Davis said the Raptors rode that energy from the home crowd in the first game. But they lost the momentum in the final two.
Entering the match with just two wins, the Raptors have come up against a string of tough teams and have lost six in a row. Four of their last six opponents have been either ranked in their respective classifications or have received votes.
“Our schedule has definitely been tough teams right in a row,” said Davis, who added 16 digs to bring her team-high to 121. “We gave them a good fight tonight but we had some unforced errors, missed serves and stuff that kind of put us in a hole.”
Better now than later, Davis added.
“It’s definitely good having tough teams now instead of starting off with easy teams,” Davis said. “We definitely get into it and see our weaknesses so we can make ourselves better.”
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Longmont 3, Silver Creek 0
At Silver Creek HS
Longmont (9-0, 5-0) 25 25 25
Silver Creek (2-7, 1-4) 21 15 13
Kills — Longmont: La. Haddock 9, Mau 9, Johnson 8, Ly. Haddock 3, Precht 3, Michalski 2, Wetterstrom 2; Silver Creek: Potter 8, Dauer 6, Sulek 6, Knechtel, Hubert, Hertzog.
Blocks — Longmont: Johnson 2, Precht, Ly. Haddock, Wetterstrom; Silver Creek: Knechtel 3, Potter 2, Sulek 2, S. Jones, Czerwinski.
Assists — Longmont: Michalski 13, Ly. Haddock 13, Mau 2, Wetterstrom; Silver Creek: Dauer 7, Jayne 4, Sulek 2.
Aces — Longmont: La. Haddock 4, Ly. Haddock 3, Cox; Silver Creek: Dauer, Sulek.
Digs — Longmont: Mau 25, La. Haddock 13, Cox 13, Michalski 8, Precht 5, Ly. Haddock 4, Johnson, Wetterstrom; Silver Creek: Davis 16, Potter 12, Dauer 9, Hubert 7, Hertzog 2, F. Jones, S. Jones.