Basalt spikers fall at Gunnison, 3-1 | AspenTimes.com

Basalt spikers fall at Gunnison, 3-1

Nate Peterson

The Basalt volleyball team didn’t make the long drive to Gunnison Friday to get pushed around by the defending champs in the 3A Western Slope.With junior Bailey Holmes back in the lineup, the Longhorns (4-3, 0-1) gave the home Cowboys all they could handle in a close 3-1 loss. Basalt regrouped after a 25-19 loss in the first game to even the match with a 25-22 win in the second frame. The Longhorns nearly won the pivotal third game, but a few costly mental errors proved to be too much as the Cowboys eked out a 26-24 win.The fourth game was a near duplicate, as the ‘Horns made Gunnison earn every point in the Cowboys’ deciding 25-23 win.”Everybody played great,” ‘Horns head coach Erin Holmes said. “Gunnison was sort of the league favorite to win, so we were surprised with how well we played. We think we can beat them next time.”Holmes returned to the starting lineup after missing the team’s first six matches with a brace on her ankle. She was not expected to return until next week after rolling the ankle in a preseason scrimmage last week, but the ankle felt good enough to play on Friday.Even with Holmes back, the Longhorns gave up considerable size at the net. To counter the Cowboys’ height advantage, Basalt used smart hitting and good defense. Assistant coach Dave Drozd said the only sticking point in the loss was a few mental mistakes. Drozd said if the ‘Horns can negate a few serving blunders and tidy up a few communication snafus before the next meeting with the Cowboys on Oct. 21, the final result may be different.”We played with great intensity. We just made some key mental errors at the end which cost us,” he said. “I was very impressed with everybody’s play, we just need to work on serving and our transition at the net. We struggled with everybody being in the right position at the right time.”The Longhorns return to the court Friday when they host Cedaredge at 3:30 p.m.Nate Peterson can be reached at npeterson@aspentimes.com.