True Grit

Clear Creek volleyball gears up for season of growth

Corinne Westeman
cwesteman@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 9/2/21

Grit is a word that encompasses a variety of ideas, as the Clear Creek volleyball players can explain. It’s about pursuing excellence, enduring and persevering, and having a good attitude overall. …

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True Grit

Clear Creek volleyball gears up for season of growth

Posted

Grit is a word that encompasses a variety of ideas, as the Clear Creek volleyball players can explain.

It’s about pursuing excellence, enduring and persevering, and having a good attitude overall.

“Grit can make or break the season,” senior middle blocker Maxine Inman said.

Freshman Pressley King, the team’s new defensive specialist, explained how with Clear Creek’s relatively small team this year, it doesn’t have as many playing options as other teams. Thus, the endurance aspect of grit is something the Golddiggers must take to heart, she commented.

As Clear Creek volleyball kicks off for a full-length fall season, the program picked “grit” as its key word for the year.

Coach Karin Thomsen said grit is also about being courageous, getting outside of one’s comfort zone, and developing as a player and a person. So, her goals for the season are instilling her players with grit and seeing them bond as a team.

And the Golddiggers have already hit the ground — or court, rather — running.

The varsity team played its first match Thursday against Kent Denver before traveling to a tournament in Estes Park. While playing four matches in a day was tough, Thomsen said it was the program’s first invitation and she relished the opportunity to play new teams.

Overall, the Golddiggers are scheduled to play 24 matches this fall, and Inman said she was excited to play a full season again after last year’s shortened spring schedule.

Roster-wise, Thomsen said varsity will have 10 players this year. Six returned from last year, and two freshmen, a sophomore and a junior will round out the team, she described.

“I like the chemistry in the gym,” she said, adding that the young players have been sponge-like in absorbing everything and the older ones are stepping into leadership roles quite naturally.

While other volleyball programs across the state are seeing a decrease in players this season, according to Thomsen, Clear Creek has the same number in the gym as last year and will be able to fill a junior-varsity and C-team roster this year.

She was also excited to see so many family dynamics in the gym, particularly on the varsity side, as she has the Inman cousins and the King sisters together this fall.

Senior Olivia King and her younger sister, Pressley, are enjoying playing together for the first time.

Olivia is stepping into the libero position, after three-year libero Zeda Taylor graduated last year, and Pressley is taking on Olivia’s former role as defensive specialist.

Olivia, who hasn’t played libero since eighth grade, recognized that she has a lot to live up to and she’s been trying to get used to her new role as back-row leader.

“I want to help the team as much as I can,” she said. “I don’t want to disappoint.”

Both Pressley and Inman anticipated seeing a lot of growth this season. Pressley pointed out that, with five seniors on the team, the underclassmen will have to step up this season and prepare to fill those leadership roles long-term.

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