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There was a moment in the Clear Creek versus Byers volleyball game, in the third set ... the Diggers came back from a 20-13 deficit to pull within a point at 22-21 thanks to a combination of forcing …
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There was a moment in the Clear Creek versus Byers volleyball game, in the third set ... the Diggers came back from a 20-13 deficit to pull within a point at 22-21 thanks to a combination of forcing errors, executing receives and the hitters finding open spots for spikes.
And while the Golddiggers ended up losing the third set and the match on Aug. 31, Coach Karin Thomsen highlighted that moment as a glimpse of exactly what this year’s team could be capable of.
“At the end, we found our groove,” she said.
The Golddiggers — who are 1-6 as of Friday — lost at home to the Byers Bulldogs in three sets:14-25, 12-25 and 21-25, respectively.
The first set started out strong for the Golddiggers, as the teams were tied at 6. However, after that, the Bulldogs went on a 6-0 run.
When Clear Creek gained possession, libero Olivia King offered up two great serves to make the set 9-12. But, Byers pulled away again and won by 11.
The Golddiggers made several errors in the second set, and the Bulldogs capitalized, winning by 13.
In the third set, the Bulldogs repeated their successes from the second and took a 5-0 lead. However, Clear Creek scored five in a row too, tying the set, and then scored the sixth after a long rally.
Tied again at 8, Clear Creek then had three failed serve receives in a row; but a well-executed hit by sophomore outside hitter Trinity Cade gave Clear Creek the serve and the momentum with the score now 11-9.
The Golddiggers managed to fight for a tie at 12, but then the Bulldogs started pulling away again thanks to a contest at the net and long rallies ending in Byers’ favor.
Clear Creek took a timeout at 20-13, and shortly after, the rotation put senior middle blocker Maxine Inman back on the front row. Now, the Golddiggers started to click on both offense and defense and fought back to a one point deficit at 22-21.
In a critical rally, the Golddiggers received the ball and had four hits on the possession. Byers kept the lead, and — with match point on the line — the Bulldogs’ senior outside hitter Tori Shockman carefully spiked the ball into an open spot on Clear Creek’s side, giving Byers the win.
While the third set was a much better showing, Thomsen said Clear Creek’s unforced errors, inconsistent serve receives and lack of blocks throughout the match contributed to the loss.
“(The players) are better than they’ve played so far,” she continued. “ … We have to be patient as they grow as a team.”
Thomsen, Inman and senior setter Aiden Kocol said the Golddiggers also have to work on covering their hitters. If Clear Creek’s offense gets blocked at the net, the defense needs to be ready to receive.
“It was our first real match of the season,” Kocol said. “ … We need to push through the downs. We don’t want the energy to leave the court.”
Kocol said that maintaining the team’s energy was she specifically wanted to work on as captain, and Inman wanted to focus on blocking, as she had the team’s only block of the night.
Overall, Inman agreed with Kocol that the team has to maintain its energy to succeed, but felt the Golddiggers had worked harder against Byers than they did at the Aug. 28 tournament in Estes Park.
“I’m really proud of us for this match,” Inman continued.
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