LONGMONT — Stepping into a varsity role this season, 5-foot-4 sophomore libero Kailey Klibbe has quickly earned the respect of her Mead Mavericks teammates.
On Thursday against Skyline, Klibbe showed the Mavericks’ homecoming crowd why. Leading the Mavericks to the most dominant single-game win head volleyball coach Rachel Ayers has seen in 17 years of coaching, Klibbe served for 21 straight points to start Game 3 and complete a 25-19, 25-12, 25-1 sweep.
Her individual performance prompted the Mavericks faithful to rise in standing ovation of Klibbe’s service error that ended the streak. But after the match, the sophomore spoke only of her teammates’ driving encouragement.
“We played to our full potential tonight and I couldn’t have done it without their support,” said Klibbe, who fired all of her match-high six aces during the streak. “We really peaked high tonight and it was fun to watch my team play together.”
Early on in 2012, Ayers wondered if she was making the right decision by playing a sophomore over a senior at a leadership position like libero.
They’ve been waiting for the team jell around some leadership, Ayers said, and she thought the Mavericks should be playing more of their competition with the kind of energy and confidence they showed against the Falcons. When the Mavericks put together their break-out third game, Ayers was pleased to see it surround Klibbe.
“Klibbe is a giant in our back row even though she’s such a small player,” Ayers said. “She’s one of the most coachable kids I have on the floor. It was phenomenal to watch her tonight.”
Klibbe is currently second in the Tri-Valley League with 173 digs. Offensively the Mavericks coaches have been working with her on her serve, and Ayers said it was rewarding to see it break a team apart Thursday night.
Senior Kelsey Lutz led the Mavericks with seven kills and team leader Molly Neiley added six more to her total of 96. Second in the Tri-Valley in assists, junior Morgan Brim had 29.
Lutz said the Mavericks could have had more energy at the beginning of the match. She said “Energy. And faith in each other,” were the keys to the dominant finish. And Klibbe.
“Klibbe did amazing,” Lutz added. “We picked up our energy and we were all having fun out there.”
Mavericks sophomore Maddie Uilk’s offense helped the Mavericks hold off the Falcons in Game 1. A 15-2 run after the score was tied 10-10 earned them the win in Game 2.
Having won four straight since losing to Tri-Valley-leading Windsor (12-1, 8-0), Lutz said the second-place Mavericks are feeling good with a rematch for the conference title on the horizon Oct. 9.
“We’re pretty confident right now,” Lutz said. “We’re all just working our hardest in practice and supporting each other.”
Skyline was coming off a similarly tough loss to Frederick on Tuesday.
“The first game we played tonight, we competed tonight,” sophomore middle blocker Alyssa Steed said. “After Frederick we talked about competing and not just playing rec volleyball, going in there and competing, fighting for those points. We worked extremely well as a team tonight.”
The Falcons will be looking to recapture that Game 1 momentum against Berthoud (4-4, 3-4) on Tuesday.
The Mavericks hope they can keep up their Game 3 pace against Frederick (8-5, 4-4) on Tuesday and then Windsor.
“Frederick was close and coming up we’ve got Windsor, who, unfortunately, we lost to the last time,” said Klibbe, who also led all players with 12 digs. “But we’re ready this time I feel and this is really going to help us play to our potential.”
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Mead 3, Skyline 0
At Mead HS
Skyline (3-9, 2-6) 19 12 1
Mead (10-2, 7-1) 25 25 25
Kills — Skyline: Elcock 4, Pair 2, Curtis 2, Spencer, Steed; Mead: Lutz 7, Neiley 6, Martinez 4, Uilk 4, Majerus 3, Brim 2, Feaster.
Blocks — Skyline: Steed; Mead: Neiley 4, Martinez, Majerus, Lutz, Brim.
Assists — Skyline: Kriel 10; Mead: Brim 29.
Aces — Skyline: Steed, Edwards, Pair; Mead: Klibbe 6, Lutz 2, Brim, Martinez.
Digs — Skyline: Edwards 9, Elcock 6, Pair 4, Steed 3; Mead: Klibbe 12, Feaster 10, Martinez 9, Neiley 5, Reeves 4, Lutz 3, Majerus 2, Brim 2.