Stargate takes five-set thriller from Fort Lupton

Steve Smith
ssmith@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 8/30/21

FORT LUPTON – It was the sort of match that deserved to go five sets. And that’s exactly what Fort Lupton High School and Stargate School did Aug. 26 in the Bluedevils’ gym. The Eagles won …

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Stargate takes five-set thriller from Fort Lupton

Posted

FORT LUPTON – It was the sort of match that deserved to go five sets.

And that’s exactly what Fort Lupton High School and Stargate School did Aug. 26 in the Bluedevils’ gym.

The Eagles won 25-23, 20-25, 28-26, 23-25, 18-16. Leads of bigger than five points in any set were a rarity.

Stargate’s Stephanie Millmore, a left-hander who did most of her damage from the right outside hitting position, led the Eagles with 17 kills. Valeria Enriquez was next with 10. Maddie Lamar compiled 31 assists. No stats were immediately available for the Bluedevils.

“We had a rocky start with all the service errors,” said Eagles’ coach Andrew Hinde. “The growth was huge tonight. Their attitudes showed. We’d lose five or six points in a row. They pushed each other. We reset ourselves. They came back and did it. It was amazing to watch.”

The Eagles scored the last five points to win the opening set. Fort Lupton scored the last eight points to win the second set. Alie Lewis served up an ace to close out the third set.

The Bluedevils scored the last five points to take the fourth set.

Millmore’s four kills propelled the Eagles to a four-point lead in the final set. FLHS rebounded with an ace from Trish Hammen and some unforced errors to force a 14-all tie. Stargate won the match on its fifth try, thanks to a Fort Lupton hitting miscue.

“It’s the way,” Hinde said. “It’s the process. If the process is there, the outcome will follow.”

The Eagles field a team of five seniors. One of the Eagles’ middle hitters, Emma Herbolshiemer, is a freshman. She had seven kills against the Bluedevils to go, with five aces.

“We have some veterans and a lot of talented youth coming up,” Hinde said. “I love it. I’ve got my veterans to show the young ones how to do it. They are good at playing volleyball, but they don’t understand the culture. So they are coaching them.”

FLHS is 0-2 to start the year.

“That was fun on both sides,” said FLHS coach Cindy Seiler. “We had a tough night the other night (a three-set loss against Strasburg). But they came back and regrouped. They played with grit. We’ve been changing a lot of things this year. The players on the court wanted it more. They were controlling their side, and there weren’t as many nerves.”

“We need to be mentally tough,” Hinde said. “When we make an error, they get down on themselves. Last season, we would have lost this game. They pushed each other and believed in each other. The growth was huge for us.”

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