Spartans vs. Demons

Salida High School senior Jamison Batinich, front, chases down the ball and passes it backwards to her teammates Thursday in Buena Vista. Behind her are junior Sage Lau, left, and senior Madie Patch. The Lady Spartans lost to the Lady Demons in three sets.

The Salida High School volleyball team played Buena Vista in a loud and rowdy red gym Thursday. The Lady Spartans showed some signs of improvements in the game but couldn’t take down the Lady Demons.

Buena Vista won the match in three sets, 25-11, 25-18 and 25-18.

“They did play well,” said Salida head coach Haley Huffman. “I’m proud of them.”

The coach said the team’s offense was better this game, getting more kills and serving the ball better.

In the first set, however, not much went right for Salida, and the Lady Demons won it convincingly with the help of five aces.

“I don’t think they knew what to expect,” Huffman said. “They started slow, but got better.”

The second and third sets were much tighter.

In the second set, junior Raley Patch got a kill to put Salida up 9-5, and a good play from sophomore Caitlyn Smith kept Salida in front, 13-11. Buena Vista scored 8 straight points after that to take an 18-13 lead.

Senior Madie Patch eventually spiked the ball to the floor to end the streak, but Buena Vista kept attacking to win the set.

In the third set, Salida played its best volleyball of the night. “They started getting scrappy at the end,” Huffman said.

Junior Sage Lau got an early kill to put Salida up 3-2. Buena Vista then went up 14-10, but the Spartans made three big plays in a row to make it a 2-point set. First Madie Patch got a kill, then senior Jamison Batinich scored with a sneaky dink return, and later Lau jumped up and blocked a shot to get a point.

Raley Patch and sophomore Macy Mazzeo had some late kills after that as the rallies seemed to go longer and longer with both teams making plays to keep the ball alive. Buena Vista, however, was able to close out the game on top.

Buena Vista also won the C-team and junior varsity contests in straight sets.

With the loss, Salida is now 4-4 overall and 1-2 in 3A Tri-Peaks League. Buena Vista improved to 3-3 overall and 2-0 in the league.

Next, Salida will travel to La Junta to take on another league foe. Salida will play the Lady Tigers (3-0, 1-0) Tuesday.