After a tough eight-win season last year, Palmer's volleyball team adopted a new motto for the 2017 season - ‘Got Grit,’ and Tuesday in the league opener against Rampart, the Terrors got dug down to pressure the Rams in the third set of a 5A Colorado Springs Metro League match on the road.
But unfortunately for Palmer (6-4, 0-1) the comeback was too little, too late as Rampart swept their first Metro League opponent by scores of 25-18, 25-14 and 25-22.
“We don’t have anything to prove this season and our focus is just getting better from the year before,” Palmer coach Adrianna Dettler said. “Heading into the third game I was like ‘You have to give it your all, and show some grit and get dirty,’ and they really did.”
The final set featured eight lead changes with Palmer earning as much as a four-point lead midway through the set. But Rampart, which has been working on staying composed in close matches, stormed back late to tie the set at 17.
The Terrors challenged again tying the set at 21, but the Rams (8-4, 1-0) closed out the final set off a tip by Taylor Sibert to complete the sweep.
"When it gets close like that we come together and pump each other up, and really focus on that first contact and getting a good pass" Sibert said. "Once we do that everything starts rolling."
“We have been working on our mental toughness a lot lately and I think the third set today was a testament to that,” Rampart coach Nikki Bloemen said. “Palmer is a tough league opponent to start out with and I think they will turn some heads in league this year, so for us to come out and win 3-0 is huge and it’s a good start. So now we just have to keep it going.”
Bloemen said Tuesday’s match was the first of the season with a complete roster due to injuries and transfers, and said she is excited to see the amount of depth they need to be successful in the postseason.
Sibert said, "This match gives us good confidence but we can’t take that for granted. Everyone works well together, we just have to stay strong as a team."
Siebert let the Rams with 11 kills and also had 10 digs, while Haley McCorkle and Kyra Parker had four aces each.