CRIPPLE CREEK - A spike here. A dig there. A pass in the wrong direction.
These are just some of the reasons why the Cripple Creek-Victor High School volleyball team is still in search of it first victory of the 2012 season.
“It does suck to have a goose egg in the win column,” said Pioneers senior outside hitter/middle blocker Olivia Ruiz-Larson after a three-game loss to Crested Butte on Sept. 22. “But we will have that win soon.”
Spirits were high as Homecoming Weekend, crisp fall weather and golden Aspen leaves settled in on Gold Camp. The Pioneers were hoping that their 13th match of the season would bring good fortune their way.
The final scores of 19-25, 21-25 and 17-25 against a solid Crested Butte squad showed that Cripple Creek-Victor (0-13, 0-2 in the West Central League) may be close to getting that “W.”
“We did a lot of things well today,” said Pioneers senior outside hitter Darien Carrillo. “Talking is a big thing for us. Being on our toes is important. Being in the right position to hit the ball when it comes our way. That’s when we we’re successful.
In Game 1, the Pioneers fell behind 20-11. But they scored five consecutive points - four straight with freshman Michelle Brown serving - to pull within 20-16. They got within 21-18 a few minutes later on a service ace by sophomore Savannah Riley.
Game 2 saw Crested Butte (7-3, 2-1) go up 21-15, only to see Cripple Creek-Victor roar back to tie the score at 21-21 on an unforced error. The Titans scored the final four points, however, to take a commanding two games to none advantage.
The Pioneers took a 5-0 lead in the third game with junior Sarah Wywias serving missiles the Titans’ direction. Cripple Creek-Victor maintained an 11-8 advantage, but Crested Butte eventually took charge and finished off the game by scoring 17 of the final 23 points.
“Success comes with hard work and,” Carrillo said. “Today was one of our better matches.”
Junior middle blocker Katie Tapia had a solid day, recording team highs in kills (10) and blocks (4). Tapia was pleased with the team’s effort, but acknowledged there were times when the team was flat.
“We get in holes when we don’t talk,” she said. “We get down and we can’t come back.”
Wywias, who had a team-high 12 assists against Crested Butte, believes the team’s first victory will come sooner than later.
“It does suck losing, but today proves that if we put all the pieces together we can be successful,” she said. “When we’re playing to our potential we have a lot of fun.”
Pioneers long-time coach Amy Christison was pleased with the way her team played.
“I think this could be a great jump start to the rest of the season,” Christison said. “We played better than we have in several matches. We played as a team and the girls kept their heads up.
“Sometimes success is measured in different ways. When we’re all playing together and working to improve; that’s building a team and building teamwork.”
Cripple Creek-Victor’s next match is Friday at Custer County.