“It was the best competition we have seen all season”
[ by Than Acuff ]
The trials and tribulations of a turbulent season opener wore on the Crested Butte Titans volleyball team as they rolled out preseason workouts in a busy start to the season with stacked games. That, coupled with the players’ youth, began to take its toll last week as they prepared for a tournament at Gunnison on Saturday September 3.
“We had a tough week before the tournament with injuries plaguing some of our starters,” coach Marla Covey said.
The Titans opened the tournament at 8am against Olathe and battled the stronger team to go down in straight sets.
“We started slow, but we got better as the game went on,” Covey said.
Crested Butte continued their upward trend when they returned to the ground to take on the Nucla Mustangs. Nucla started their season on a winning streak, but Crested Butte stung them in the opener of their game to win 25-23.
“We had Annie Collins back and she gave us a new presence on the pitch that we didn’t have the week before,” says Covey.
The Mustangs fought back to win Game 2 25-14 and force a deciding Game 3, then sealed the victory with a 15-9 victory to take the game.
“Ellie Duryea was solid and a great passer in the game, she’s the quiet leader of the team,” says Covey. “We played better as a team against Nucla, we still don’t know how to win. I feel like we are always playing not to lose.
The Titans then closed out the day against the Telluride Miners. Crested Butte has struggled against the Miners in the past and those issues continued on Saturday as the Titans fell 10-0 in the opener and couldn’t come back.
“We just got into a big hole from the start and couldn’t get out,” Covey said.
As injuries started to flare up among the players, Covey moved some players around to prevent them from getting any worse injuries and provide them with new energy. And while that decision gave the Titans a boost, it wasn’t enough as they lost Game 2 and the game.
“When we changed the formation, we played a bit better,” says Covey.
Overall, the Titans battled through what Covey felt was a tough day, injured or uninjured.
“It was the best competition we’ve seen all season,” said Covey. “We had freshmen on the floor and they stepped up.”
The Titans get a break the next two weeks with just two home games. They host Trinidad at Mount Olympus on Saturday, September 10 at 2 p.m., then stay home to host Sanford the following Saturday.
“With Sunday and Monday off and only one game this week and one game next week, hopefully that will help the girls heal,” Covey said. “It will also give us the opportunity to polish some things, work on some skills that we lack and try new formations.”