GRAND JUNCTION — The best healing is just playing, and if you’re playing, hey, winning’s better than losing.
Eagle Valley volleyball took care of Grand Junction Central, 25-11, 25-13, 25-23, to open 2014 in as fine a style as could be imagined. Without making a melodrama out of this, the Devils were playing their first match after their former coach Garrett La Force died in an automobile accident last month.
“We’ve been playing,” Eagle Valley volleyball coach Lindsey Myers said. “That’s the main thing — playing is the best way to heal. It hasn’t been easy. From time to time, we talk about it. But being together, laughing and smiling, having team events in different people’s homes is what we’re doing in honor of Garrett. We’re hoping to honor him in different ways this season.”
The T-shirts which LaForce handed out last year said “Expect more,” and that’s what the Devils did, comfortably winning the first two sets. Myers said she made a lineup mistake in the final game but that the girls played through it wonderfully.
“Everyone had a smile on their faces, and that’s what Garrett would have wanted,” Myers said.
Morgan Murphy led the serving with seven aces, while Molly Jewett had five. Carlee Morrison knocked down attacks at a swift 50-percent clip, and Jaimee Rindy was 5-for-9. Devin Green topped Eagle Valley with 13 digs. In all, the squad’s hitting percentage was .271, and the Devils had 18 aces and 51 digs.
Strictly focusing on the court, this was a nice start for the Devils, who graduated eight seniors from last year’s squad which went 15-9 and finished second in the 4A Slope.
With new faces in new places, the Devils still have a lot of work in practice before they head to Regis for a four-game tournament next weekend.
“We’re definitely going to, omigosh, that’s a hard question to ask a coach,” Myers said. “We definitely need to work on team communication, becoming more consistent with our plays and doing it with tempo.”
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.