The Fairview Knights didn’t play like a team that was on an eight-game losing streak on Saturday while hosting crosstown rival Boulder.
And after a bumpy first set, Fairview dominated thereafter to win, 3-1, to gain a Front Range League victory.
Fairview head coach Lauren Ollanik said her Knights (5-13 overall, 1-5 FRL) “took ownership” of their side of the court to gain their first FRL win of the season by scores of 23-25, 25-17, 25-10, 25-16. The loss for Boulder (5-13, 1-5) was its fourth consecutive.
Playing in enemy territory didn’t bother the Panthers early as they stormed out to a 10-4 lead in the first set. Fairview came back to tie things at 20, but Boulder eventually regained composure to secure the 25-23 set victory.
In a near complete reversal of set one, Fairview took a 12-6 lead in the second set. The Knights didn’t look back and gained their largest lead on the final point to win 25-17. The set was highlighted by senior Kailey Page’s emphatic spike that brought the Knights to set point. A 1-1 match tie now prefaced the third set.
“They just wanted it,” Ollanik said. “They were like, ‘this is not how we want to go down.’ It was all them. They pulled together and they came out strong in that second set and that was our goal.”
For Boulder, the height of senior Sophia Matarrese and the athleticism of senior Alexa Winter struggled to keep up with the Knights’ relentless attack.
Fairview kept the momentum in set three when it led by as many as nine points before a 25-20 win.
Also joining Page up front were the menacing net presences of Taylor Dinges, Samantha Schubert and Lilia Donaldson. Page credited the Knights’ ability to create confidence as a unit for turning things around.
“We were definitely nervous and we had some lineup changes, so we had to kind of adjust,” Page, a Colorado Mesa basketball commit, said. “Once we did that, we have great chemistry so building each other up and knowing that we can do this and executing it is what pushed us there.”
That continued to translate in set four as Fairview completed perhaps its most dominant run of the afternoon. The strong libero play of junior Alexis Vancil helped anchor Fairview’s defense down the stretch to convincingly end the match, 25-16.
Page believes that continuing the energy Fairview brought on Saturday should make her final high school matches memorable.
“I think we need to go into every game after this with that intensity,” Page said. “We played really well and I’m super proud of all of the girls. We just have to start the game how we want to and with that high intensity, high level play.”
Just five games remain for Fariview, which will face Poudre in Fort Collins on Tuesday. Boulder and head coach Kyle Rhatigan will look to regroup on Tuesday at Legacy.