BROOMFIELD — After losing its first two sets by a combined 14 points, Legacy volleyball pulled off the rare reverse sweep on Thursday in a 3-2 home win over crosstown rival Broomfield.
It was a swing rarely seen, but one where first-year Legacy head coach Will Rozum believed the daunting deficit became surmountable when his team decided to take control of how the game was being played.
“We knew that we had to be a more aggressive team,” Rozum said of the 17-25, 19-25, 25-16, 26-24, 15-7 outcome. “They dictated play the entire first two sets they were in control; we were playing reactionary (and) they always controlled the ball. We knew we had to become a more aggressive team, trying to disrupt them a bit and make them a bit more uncomfortable because they were just having things too easy the first two sets.”
The senior-heavy Lightning (14-1, 5-1 Class 5A Front Range League) were led by their only two juniors, Taryn McGonigle and Kaci Espin, who recorded a combined 20 kills on the evening. Defensively, the reliable senior Alexandra Urbina had a team-high 22 digs.
“Everyone knows Alexandra is our go-to arm, but our strength is we have a lot of girls that can score,” Rozum said. “Tonight, Kaci Espin, she on the right side scored so many points for us. We have our go-to (players), but we have so many girls that can contribute and they do contribute, and they did tonight.”
In the first set, both squads began by trading points until a strong dig by Eagles senior Taylor Sheperd provided a spark of momentum for Broomfield (8-6, 2-2 FRL), which soon created an 11-6 lead. From there, Broomfield kept Legacy out of reach and cruised to a dominant first-set win. The second set followed a similar script as the Eagles, aided by an early diving dig by senior Kennedy Nelson, led by as many as eight points in a 25-19 thrashing.
However, Legacy’s first 0-2 deficit of the season didn’t seem to faze many on the Lightning bench.
Legacy was better able to limit Broomfield senior Lillia Neill’s attack in the third set and jumped out to a 17-11 advantage before taking the set, 25-16.
“It took a lot of energy and a lot of pressure on the service line to get them out of (their) system so that the hits weren’t coming in and they couldn’t run their offense as well,” Espin said.
The evening’s closest set came in the fourth with several ties having to be broken before Legacy eked out the 26-24 win to fully regain all the momentum
As the clock passed 9 p.m. and the fifth set began, the Lightning were arguably at their best. Three different Legacy players — Espin, McGonigle and Urbina — recorded consecutive kills early, senior Cheyenne Trujillo had a service ace up 13-7 and Espin ended things with a kill.
“It’s so crazy, I’m so proud of our team,” Espin said. “We did so good and it was really hard to fight back and I’m really proud of that.”
Legacy, now on a four-game win streak, travels to face Fairview on Monday while the Eagles return home against Horizon on the same day.