Berthoud volleyball serves up two straight wins

By Dan Karpiel
The Surveyor

Berthoud’s Shay Pierick serves for the Spartans during the match against Mead at Mead High School on Oct. 13. Paula Megenhardt / The Surveyor

Berthoud’s Shay Pierick serves for the Spartans during the match against Mead at Mead High School on Oct. 13.
Paula Megenhardt / The Surveyor

Just when it appeared things may have reached the point of no return, the Berthoud High volleyball team put an emphatic end to a four-match losing streak and righted their proverbial ship just in time for the season’s stretch run.

The Lady Spartans blanked Tri-Valley Conference (TVC) opponent Skyline in straight sets (29-27, 25-15, 25-13) on Oct. 8 and subsequently bested Mead by a 3-1 final (25-17, 25-23, 23-25, 25-17) on Oct. 13. The pair of wins put Berthoud back in third place with three matches remaining in the TVC.

“I think it was just great that our team was cooperating and getting a full team effort and be able to play as one,” Berthoud junior Shaylee Pierick said after the win over Mead. “I think that all of the losses really helped us come together as a team a little bit more, even though that seems kind of strange, but we realized how important is to be a team and we’ve just clicked.”

Pierick set the tone for Berthoud in the decisive fourth set against Mead. The Lady Spartans scored eight consecutive points with the junior serving, taking total control of the match.

“I was just kind of trying to nail it because I know with my strength I can do that,” Pierick said.

Berthoud’s defense was particularly strong during this run, receiving and returning the ball without error to prevent a Mead side-out, allowing Pierick to continue serving. Berthoud quickly built an 8-0 lead and extended it to 11-1, then 13-3, and left little doubt as to how the match would end.

“We’ve struggled serving up to this point, tonight was definitely a much better showing from us,” said Berthoud Head Coach Daisha Agho. “Shay is a very aggressive server, we like that, we coach that, and in this game she hasn’t made as many errors mostly because she’s been keeping the ball in position.”

After having won the first set handily, 25-17, Berthoud had to scratch and claw to win the pivotal second against a tenacious Lady Mavericks squad. A set where the two teams traded scores in nearly a one-for-one sequence eventually found itself knotted at 23-23. At that point, Agho used her last timeout of the set.

“Confidence, we like to play in these close situations for whatever reason…but just play relaxed because we get tight,” was what Agho said was the message she gave her team during the break.

It worked ideally as a kill from sophomore outside hitter Julie Ward and a block from freshman Kailey Berry scored the Lady Spartans the two points they needed to win the set.

“We’ve worked on some scenarios in trying to finish close games like this so I think that helped this week, having them figure out we’ve got to be crisp, keep our plate clean, let them make the mistakes, just keep the ball in play,” Agho said. “We’ve gotten much better at that and I think that showed in the second game.”

Berthoud (9-7, 7-4) faces another stiff test on Oct. 15 when they travel to Johnstown for a match with Roosevelt (11-8, 6-4), whom the Lady Spartans beat in a 3-2 affair on Sept. 17.