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Evergreen dances to own beat, tops Lobos

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By Chelsy Woods Klein

Inertia, the property that tends to keep a body in motion, emanated throughout Evergreen High School’s gym Sept. 27 as the Lady Cougars defeated rival Conifer 27-25, 20-25, 25-23, 25-21.
With the sound system blasting feet-twitching tunes that made officials and coaches bust some dance moves in front of a packed house, the girls on the court fed off the energy creating a dynamic game of attack and defend.
In the first set, both teams exerted prowess, guiding the ball to key spots and capitalizing on the other’s weakness. But the problem was that there weren’t many weaknesses to capitalize on.
Conifer showed an early fire, undaunted by Evergreen’s home-court advantage, when it held an extraordinarily long rally that finally ended with a two-hand touch call on Evergreen. The flame in the Lady Lobos’ eye held throughout the set, but it ended with a two-hand touch call on Conifer, giving Evergreen the first set.
Conifer rallied to take the second set 25-20, but the façade of the Lady Lobos’ toughness wore thin during the third set when Conifer began hitting the ball long. Conifer players were aiming for, but overshooting, the back corner, drawing side outs that cost them the next two sets and the match.
Sophomore Bryce Flrschuetz led Evergreen with 10 kills, while senior Kira Nielander and freshman Andrea Eddy had eight each. The Lady Cougars (5-6 overall, 2-2 4A Jeffco) have won back-to-back matches after a four-match losing streak.
“I think our team did a really good job making adjustments,” Evergreen head coach Katie Ryan said. “In set three and four we started in completely different rotations, so I think that threw them off. But it proved to our kids that you can start in any rotation and do well.”
Senior Brooke Shaw led Conifer (8-5, 2-2) with 11 kills, while junior Becca Hammon added six. The Lady Lobos had won four of their previous five matches.
“I just feel like we stayed in second gear,” Conifer head coach Cindy Tadlock said. “Our girls can play in a much better rhythm, and I just never saw it. They kind of strained themselves too much early on.”