Hayden can’t rise to the occasion, falls to Olathe
HAYDEN — Hayden High School senior Leah Carrouth started the second set against Olathe with a crafty kill, setting the tone for the entire set. A Carrouth block brought the Tigers within one of the win, 24-18 and a kill by junior Jillian Bennett sealed it.
That tied the night at one set a piece, but Olathe ripped the momentum away from Hayden, using 25-11 and 25-14 wins to earn the 3-1 victory Friday.
The second set was Hayden’s best volleyball. The girls in orange were organized and intentional and had a rhythm throughout.
Prolonged spurts of that will take some practice since the team spent the last week and a half in quarantine.
“We just had some momentum and we started to click,” said Hayden head coach Lexi Cyphers. “These girls worked so hard leading up to last week and then almost my entire varsity team was quarantined. That makes it really hard to come back. They’ve been back since (Thursday). For the time spent apart, I would say they played well.”
Carrouth’s efforts at the net were aided by junior Jillian Bennett, who offered up a few hard hits, as did junior Piper Jo Jones, all off the hands of senior setter Gracie Day. For not having any experience at the position, Day made smart decisions. Her passes were on target and her tips were well placed.
“That second set, it was just clicking perfectly,” Cyphers said. “And that’s what I anticipate the rest of the year to look like.”
In the third set, that rhythm died off. The Tigers committed errors of every flavor, allowing the Pirates to develop an 11-5 lead. Cyphers called a timeout, but when her team returned to the floor, little had changed. On the next volley, the Tigers watched a ball land on the line, giving Olathe a 12-5 lead.
The Pirates returned everything as if 10 players were on their side of the net rather than six. Even when Hayden found a weak spot or surprised Olathe with a tip, somehow a Pirate hand found the ball. Olathe carries that energy to a 25-11 win.
The first few serves of the fourth set were competitive, as the teams traded points until the score sat at 3-3. Olathe quickly found a hole in the middle of the Hayden alignment though, using back-to-back balls there to take a lead. Down 5-3, Hayden started making the same mistakes that lost them the third set.
Off the shallow and powerful serves of junior Makena Liles, Olathe stretched the lead to 10, 16-6. The lead stayed steady until the 25-14 win.
“I asked them to give themselves a little bit of slack. This year is all about flexibility and how we can grow and have fun, but also get the work done,” said Cyphers. “I’m proud of them tonight. They were extremely positive all night.”
Olathe 3, Hayden 1
O 25 18 25 25 – 3
H 14 25 11 14 – 1
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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Steamboat Springs 2021 graduate Thomas Lewer will always set lofty goals.