Caitlyn Smith

Salida High School senior Caitlyn Smith jumps to block a shot from the Center High School Lady Vikings Tuesday at home. The SHS volleyball team improved its record to 4-8 with the 3-0 win.

The Salida High School girls’ volleyball team swept Center High School 3-0 Tuesday for the Lady Spartans’ first home win this season, improving their record to 4-8.

SHS coach Haley Huffman said she tinkered with the team lineup for the fourth home game, and her players responded with 21 kills and 12 aces in the match against Center.

“We did really good on the net,” Huffman said. “Our serving is the best it’s been all season.

“We were smart with our hitting and were able to get 21 kills. (Senior) Hannah Martinez led our kills with seven, and she did an outstanding job putting what we worked on in practice to use in our game.”

She added, “I really liked the new lineup and I think the girls did too.”

Among the players serving up aces were freshman Trinity Bertolino with five, Martinez with four and senior Caitlyn Smith with three.

“I haven’t felt like I’ve been doing that well on serving lately,” said Bertolino. “This really boosts my confidence a lot.”

Martinez, who made a total of nine kills and aces, has been playing volleyball since she was in middle school. She said she is considering whether to continue playing volleyball in college.

“It’s super fun to ace it,” Martinez said. “It’s an easy point for the team.”

The Vikings came into the game with a winning record of 10-7, giving Salida a shot of confidence with the win. The Spartans trailed only briefly in the third game of the match before closing out the Vikings.

“They played really well together, especially with people in new positions,” Huffman said. “We needed a win, and it definitely is a good morale booster to keep us going for the rest of the season.”

The volleyball match with James Irwin High School in Colorado Springs, scheduled for today, has been postponed to Oct. 15 because of a COVID-19 lockdown at James Irwin. The next Lady Spartans match is at home Oct. 12 against 10-3 Manitou Springs.

“Manitou has always been good,” Huffman said. “We’ll just play our best and try to get some blocks on their hitters.”