Dearth lifts ‘Dogs past Huskies

When the Palisade High School volleyball team needed a spark in the final game of Thursday’s 3-1 win over Battle Mountain, senior Mecia Dearth had no reservations about taking charge.

The Bulldogs, who won 25-15, 25-23, 22-25, 25-16, started strong, but struggled in the middle games.

Trailing 11-9 in the fourth game, Dearth got in position for two kills to start a 16-5 run to end the Western Slope League match.

“You can’t be afraid to make a mistake,” Dearth said. “It’s not like that’s the game point.”

Down 11-9, Dearth took a pass from Shannon Rhodes and killed it to make it 11-10, and two plays later returned a hit by Battle Mountain’s Makenzie Ellison with a kill to make it 13-11.

After the Bulldogs allowed a point to make it 15-12, Dearth passed to Savannah Hanson, who recorded a kill.

Palisade (8-2, 3-0 WSL) scored six straight points behind Courtney Clark’s serves to lead 22-12. Palisade won it minutes later on a lifting call against Battle Mountain (2-5, 1-1 WSL).

“It’s such a game of momentum, so for Mecia to string a couple of kills and blocks together, and for Courtney Clark to go back and serve several balls in a row, it gave us chances and that’s all we needed,” Palisade coach Wendy MacAskill said.

Dearth finished with 12 kills, second to Audrey Steinkirchner’s 15.

Early on, Palisade had plenty of success playing around Rhodes, their setter, who had 28 assists, spreading her passes around to Steinkirchner, Dearth and Tahverle Hodges. Defensively, Dearth and Steinkirchner controlled the net.

In the middle games, Battle Mountain fought back.

Palisade opened the second game with a 7-3 run, but the Huskies took advantage of numerous Palisade attacks that went out of bounds and soon turned it around to lead 15-11.

Palisade recovered to win on a serve out of bounds.

In the third game, Palisade again struggled to keep the ball inbounds and Battle Mountain got key hits from LaRose Currie to take a 13-18 lead. Palisade tried come back, scoring four of the final six points, but a serve out of bounds cut the match lead to 2-1.

“I think they definitely got better as the match progressed, but we were able to counter that and play pretty aggressive back,” MacAskill said.

“We made a few more errors than we were striving to, which sometimes when you’re aggressive, that happens.”


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