Volleyball routs Frederick, prepares for Windsor

By Dan Karpiel
The Surveyor

The time-honored sports adage, “a win is a win,” becomes all the more apropos late in the season. Irrespective of the quality – or the lack thereof – of the opponent, tallying that additional notch on the left side of the win-loss column means an awful lot.

In shellacking Tri-Valley Conference (TVC) cellar-dweller Frederick in three straight sets (25-17, 25-21, 25-17) on Oct. 20, the Berthoud High volleyball team registered its eighth conference win of the season and with it got a booster shot of confidence.

“It’s definitely helpful to be able to get some new plays in and to try some different things on the court,” said Berthoud Head Coach Daisha Agho. “It helped build our confidence with some other plays; it’s definitely a confidence booster for us.”

After leading for the entirety of the first set, the Lady Spartans faced a small deficit early in the second as Frederick scored five of six points during a run in which the Lady Warriors took a 10-6 lead. A kill from Berthoud sophomore Julie Ward ended Frederick’s streak and began a run that saw Berthoud eventually knot the score at 11. The Lady Spartans slowly but surely pulled away, winning points by way of Frederick mistakes and their own aggressive style of play.

Junior Jessa Megenhardt, Berthoud’s setter who isn’t usually prone to attacking, notched her fair share of kills on the evening.

“It’s more to kind of confuse them,” Megenhardt said. “When they see my swinging more they’re more likely to come up with me, so it gives my hitters more of an advantage to swing.”

In the third set the Lady Spartans scored seven straight points to take a 9-4 lead that removed any hope Frederick had to win even a set, let alone the match. Junior Shelby Braesch scored points for Berthoud with a kill and a block that sandwiched a Megenhardt kill, and Ward added another pair to the Lady Spartans lead with a kill and an ace, giving Berthoud a 23-16 lead.

The winning point on the night came from Berthoud’s Sarah Howard on a soft return over the net that found a gap in the left side of the Frederick front line.

“I’m looking to score. I was just looking for a play out … it ended up that no one was there so it worked,” Howard set of her match-winning kill.

The junior has seen her playing time steadily increase over the course of the season and credits her teammates for playing a large role in her improvement.

“As soon as we got the whole team chemistry down it’s a lot easier to play, so when I had my team backing me up and keeping me confident everything just followed through so it worked really well,” Howard said.

With Kailey Berry, who ranks third on the Berthoud squad in both kills and total blocks, absent from the match, Agho employed Howard and Braesch on the front line.

“I’m really impressed with the way Sarah handled herself in the front row,” Agho said. “Being able to put up a block against their outsides and get some kills, it’s awesome to have that versatility on this team with her and Shelby.”

“I’m not a really strong power hitter, so I know have to utilize what I can do,” Howard said. “Playing smart is better for me than playing powerful.”

The win over Frederick was Berthoud’s (10-8, 8-5) third in their last four matches and gives the team additional positive momentum heading into their TVC finale with Windsor (14-3, 10-2) on Oct. 22.

“Playing against not as strong of a team really shows you how to play as a team and play to your level, and not to the other team’s level. So that will help us Thursday,” Megenhardt said. “We know we can finish a game, and that’s what we need to do in Windsor.”