GET BREAKING NEWS IN YOUR BROWSER. CLICK HERE TO TURN ON NOTIFICATIONS.

X

Volleyball: Mead earns young coach Martinez first win back at her old school

Mavericks beat rival Longmont in three sets to open season

PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

LONGMONT — The anticipation leading up to the coaching debut of Mead’s new frontwoman, Mikayla Martinez, simmered just a little longer than expected Tuesday evening.

Nevertheless, her first victory was punctual.

If a season-opening showdown between Class 4A preseason top-10 teams wasn’t enough to fluster the nerves of the Mavericks’ 23-year-old coach, a start time pushed back 75 minutes due to prior matches going long probably didn’t help.

But alas, in a packed gym, her seventh-ranked team proved worth the wait for its home fans, beating No. 3 Longmont in three sets.

Mead High School's Morgan Munro (No. ...
Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer
Mead High School’s Morgan Munro (No. 6) spikes the ball past Longmont High School’s Payton Jonason (No. 10) on Aug. 27, 2019.

“The nerves were definitely there,” said Martinez, a 2014 grad who helped the program blossom into a consistent winner as a player. “And I’m sure the girls were right there, too. If you watch that first game, they were all a little bit nervous, too.”

Those feelings subsided, and out from under it a team looking to make noise in the next state tournament emerged.

Quincey Coyle had 16 kills, Kenzie Morton added 10 kills and Abigail Sprague had four aces for Mead in its 25-20, 25-18, 25-17 victory.

In the opening set, the Mavericks recovered from a 10-4 deficit with a series of strong setups turned into kills, as well as a touch of misdirection.

Coyle, an all-region player as a freshman last year, split the Longmont defense to make it 24-20, and Hailee Martinez, the coach’s younger sister, finished it with a no-look, touch kill over the front line.

An early timeout by the young coach appeared to help, too.

“We had to get all the nerves out,” Hailee said. “We noticed after the timeout she called that we were just fine.”

Longmont lost to its city rival for a second straight time to open the season and a third straight time since 2016, per MaxPreps.

As history goes, though, the loss hasn’t meant much in the bigger picture.

After the five-set loss to the Mavericks in 2018, Longmont recorded yet another 20-win season and deep postseason run under longtime coach Holli Stetson. The Trojans drove all the way to high school volleyball’s version of the Final Four at the Denver Coliseum before getting upended by Niwot.

A first look at their 2019 roster showed plenty of promise. Ada Grace Creighton led the way with eight kills and Caroline Demosthenes added another six. They looked in control at times and led in both the first and second sets, but Mead’s poise prevailed.

“They prepared well and got into the gym every day and worked hard,” Martinez said of her team. “At the end of the day, it came down to ‘who’s going to put it all on the floor’ and ‘who’s going to go after every single ball’. I’m just so proud of them that they weren’t letting balls drop and having miscommunication. Yeah, I’m just super proud of them.”

  • Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer

    From left: Mead High School's Phoenix Wilke (No. 11), Quincey Coyle (No. 10), Hailee Martinez (No. 3) and Lauren Steidl (No. 5) celebrate a point in the game against Longmont High School on Aug. 27, 2019. The Mavericks defeated the Trojans in three sets.

  • Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer

    Longmont High School's Caroline Demosthenes (No. 1) blocks a shot from Mead High School's Makenzie Morton (No. 9) on Aug. 27, 2019.

  • Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer

    Mead High School's Morgan Munro (No. 6) spikes the ball past Longmont High School's Payton Jonason (No. 10) on Aug. 27, 2019.

  • Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer

    Mead High School's Abigail Sprague (No. 2) serves in the game against Longmont High School on Aug. 27, 2019.

  • Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer

    Mead High School's Lauren Steidl (No. 5) keeps the ball in play in the game against Longmont High School on Aug. 27, 2019.

  • Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer

    Mead High School's Lauren Steidl (No. 5) serves in the game against Longmont High School on Aug. 27, 2019.

  • Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer

    Mead High School celebrates a point in the game against Longmont High School on Aug. 27, 2019.

  • Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer

    Mead High School celebrates a point in the game against Longmont High School on Aug. 27, 2019.

  • Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer

    Longmont High School's Madison Jonason (No. 4) serves in the game against Mead High School on Aug. 27, 2019.

  • Matthew jonas/Staff Photographer

    Longmont High School's Bridget Kusbel (No. 11) celebrates a point in the game against Mead High School on Aug. 27, 2019.

  • Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer

    Longmont High School's Madison Jonason (No. 4) sets the ball in the game against Mead High School on Aug. 27, 2019.

  • Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer

    Mead High School celebrates a point in the game against Longmont High School on Aug. 27, 2019.

  • Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer

    Longmont High School's Payton Jonason (No. 10) tries to block a shot from Mead High School on Aug. 27, 2019.

  • Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer

    Longmont High School's Ada Grace Creighton (No. 8) serves in the game against Mead High School on Aug. 27, 2019.

  • Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer

    Longmont High School's Caroline Demosthenes (No. 1) spikes the ball while Mead High School's Makenzie Morton (No. 9) tries to block the shot on Aug. 27, 2019.

  • Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer

    Mead High School's Quincey Coyle (No. 10) serves in the game against Longmont High School on Aug. 27, 2019.

  • Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer

    Mead High School's Hailee Martinez (No. 3) sets the ball in the game against Longmont High School on Aug. 27, 2019.

of

Expand