BOULDER — On a night where five sets were needed, the Loveland Indians (13-3, 8-2) defeated the Fairview Knights (12-5, 5-5) to extend its current win streak to five games.
The win streak is now the longest of the season, beating a previous four-game win streak the Indians had earlier in the season.
“These are games we need to focus on and win, but it’s all about just playing the game,” Loveland’s Morgan Watson said. “Sometimes we get too much in our heads and get too intense, but tonight we played the game of volleyball. It was great to see everyone come together and play as a team. We really needed this.”
Tuesday’s match would go the full five sets, but most of the match was not close. In fact, both teams dominated a pair of sets before playing a more competitive fifth and final set.
Loveland began the night scoring the first five points and taking a double-digit lead late in set one before going on to win 25-10. Things would turn against them in the next set with Fairview scoring seven of the first eight points and getting a 10-point lead late to help them win 25-14 and even the match.
Both teams rode the wave in the next two sets again. Loveland jumped up 9-3 early in the third set, allowed a small comeback and then rolled late to win 25-17. In the next set, Fairview took a 14-4 lead and held on the final stretch to win 25-18.
“Switching back and forth from having a good set to not having a really good set gets confusing and a little frustrating,” Watson said. “In the fifth set, we looked at each other and knew we had to fire up. We had to score our points and play volleyball together.”
In each of the first four sets, the team to score first held that lead end-to-end. It made for a critical start in the fifth set that Loveland got by scoring the first three points. Fairview would pull within a point, but the Indians kept the night’s theme intact and held the lead until the end to win 15-10.
When Loveland was on, Watson and Maddie Kinney were able to swing freely at the net and deliver big kills. The team leaders coming into the week led again Tuesday with Kinney’s 20 kills and Watson’s 16.
“We know how to see the court,” Watson said. “Our back row helps us so much in talking to us and telling us where to put the ball. It’s crucial for Maddie and I.”
Fairview used its offense to dominate the second and fourth sets with Kea Veenendaal getting 12 kills and four blocks for points to spark the team’s runs. Grace Andrews (seven kills) and Maura Sharp (six) also came up big in the big scoring runs for the Knights at the net.
“When we were on, we looked like the better team,” Fairview coach Odette Edbrooke said. “We played really good defense and had our best blocking night of the season. Offensively, when we were smart, we’re really smart. When we’re frustrated, we stopped making those good decisions, and that was the difference maker.”
Both teams look to finish Front Range League play on a positive note and stay in the hunt for the chance to host a regional tournament in November. Loveland wraps up a three-game road swing Thursday at Rocky Mountain and Fairview eyes a bounce-back at home Friday night with Poudre.