For the first time this season, the Montrose High School volleyball team faced a bout of adversity: climbing back from an early deficit.
The Lady Indians found themselves trailing early in the third set of Tuesday’s match against the visiting Eagle Valley Devils. Even though the hosts controlled the first two games, it looked like the Devils were going to force a fourth set after a hot start in the third.
But the Lady Indians (3-0) fought back from an early 4-0 deficit to win the third and final set, winning the match: 25-14; 25-20; 25-19.
“We needed a match like that to know that we can battle back against a great team,” MHS coach Shane Forrest said. “... (Eagle Valley) is a good team so that’s a solid win for us.”
The victory is all the more impressive considering the Devils had a strong record at 4-1, with their only loss coming from a Class 5A school in Fairview. And Eagle Valley had previously swept Fruita Monument — a Southwestern League rival that defeated Montrose twice last year — earlier this season.
The Lady Indians were able to get the win with everybody contributing.
Madison Satterly finished with a team-high nine kills while Taylor Foster and Madison Hickert added eight and seven, respectively. Satterly, Foster and Caraline Burwell also had tallied three digs each.
On the defensive end, Ashlyn Manuel accumulated seven digs, Kelsey Rocco had five, while Foster and Isabel Stollsteimer both finished with four.
“It’s been a team effort,” Forrest said. “We don’t rely on just one player. Everybody is doing their part, defensively and offensively.”
That holistic approach alowed Montrose to never trail in the first two sets.
The Lady Indians started the game hanging onto an early lead before they rallied four-straight points to make the score, 14-7, which made the Devils call a timeout.
However, the stoppage didn’t help as the hosts got to their first double-digit lead at 18-8. They led as many as 12 points before the Devils cut the deficit to eight at 22-14.
Montrose didn’t let Eagle Valley get any closer as it rattled off three-straight points with set-point coming from a Satterly block.
The second set was similar to the first as the Lady Indians never trailed, yet, both teams were neck-in-neck for most of the game.
Montrose had trouble gaining any distance from Eagle Valley as the home squad’s biggest lead early on was three points. The visiting team kept crawling back tying the score up a few times with the last occasion happening at 17-all.
The Lady Indians were then able to collect two quick points with the last one coming from a Hickert kill, making the Devils call a timeout.
As in the first set, it didn’t stop Montrose. The team kept up the pressure, winning the second game with a kill by Satterly.
After having to play catch up against Eagle Valley for most of the third set, the home team would take the go-ahead lead at 19-18. Montrose got the match-point win after Eagle Valley made a returning error.
Forrest reiterated she believes her players can see they can pull off come- from-behind wins.
“I hope the confidence of beating a good team like that will carry us on for future matches,” she said.
Montrose’s next game is against Palisade starting at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 10, at home.
Andrew Kiser is the Montrose Daily Press’ sports/business writer. Follow him on Twitter @andrew_kpress.