Briefs: Prep Roundup Sept. 25, 2009
Audrey Steinkirchner gives the Palisade High School volleyball team something valuable.
The 6-foot-2 sophomore is a presence in the middle at the net. With Steinkirchner there, the Bulldogs (6-2, 3-0 Western Slope League) have run to a 6-2 record early in the season.
Thursday against Glenwood Springs, Steinkirchner’s size puzzled another foe as she finished with 16 kills in the Bulldogs’ 25-19, 25-22, 19-25, 25-15 win.
“We started out a little slow, but the energy from the crowd helped to bring us together,” Steinkirchner said. “We had some serving runs and blocks that really changed the momentum.”
Steinkirchner has gone from rotating as a freshman last year to not leaving the court this season. She is a strong blocker and middle hitter when she’s on the front row, but also is a solid setter from the back row. Steinkirchner’s versatility showed with four blocks and 16 assists.
Palisade coach Wendy MaCskill says Steinkirchner provides a distraction to the opponents.
“The nice thing about having Audrey is, she is going to get her kills and blocks, but when other teams start to key on her, we have other people that can get the job done,” MacAskill said.
“That will be a strength of ours.”
Those other players include Chelsea Wells and Morgan Reynolds, who both played well against the Demons. Both players had key kills late in the second game that helped the Bulldogs pull out the tthree-point win.
“If teams underestimate Morgan and Chelsea, they will be surprised how those girls can get their kills,” MacAskill said.
In the third game, the Bulldogs fell behind 17-12 and were never able to regain the momentum.
MacAskill said Palisade’s defense is an area she would like to see improve.
“When they started swinging better in the match, our defense has to improve,” MacAskill said.
“We have an offense that can help us out, but I hope the defense will get better as the year goes on.”
The Bulldogs’ offense came through in the fourth game, going on a 14-4 run. The win helped the Bulldogs begin 3-0 in the WSL heading into Saturday’s game at Rifle.
“Our confidence is pretty high right now,” Steinkirchner said. “We still would like to get a few more wins under our belt to be truly confident.”
Other individual highlights from Thursday’s games included BrieAnna Krueger’s four aces and Reynolds finishing with 17 digs and 12 kills.
Central 3, Fruita Monument 0: Haleigh Higgins led the way for Central with 23 assists and four aces in a 25-16, 25-15, 25-10 win over Fruita Monument. Amy Kame had 13 kills and Ashely Wells added 11.
Central jumped on Grand Junction early with four runs in the first inning and didn’t look back, defeating the Tigers 10-0. Mikayla Duffy bounced back after losing to Fruita on Tuesday, allowing only two hits. Offensively, the Warriors were led by Jessica Romine, who doubled and a tripled.
Fruita Monument 11, Montrose 0: After Tuesday’s big win over Central, the Wildcats didn’t have a letdown, scoring 10 runs in the first inning. The Wildcats cruised after their big first inning, with pitcher Krystina Pacheco allowing only one hit.
Moffat County defeated Palisade 8-0 at the Peach Bowl. Moffat County had 32 shots on goal and Alexander Perez scored a hat trick. Palisade goalie Rosalio Orneles had 17 saves.
The Fruita Monument boys finished third in the Cougar Invitational in Colorado Springs with 166 points. The Wildcats were led by Woody Seagren, who finished sixth in 16 minutes, 35 seconds. The girls team finished 12th with 284 points. Olivia Daniels led the girls, finishing 34th in 21:07.