King of the Mountain volleyball tournament winners crowned in Vail
Piotr Marciniak came in from Florida to play in the King of the Mountain volleyball tournament in Vail this weekend.
Marciniak said the chance to play with Colorado resident Skylar del Sol prompted the trip.
“I haven’t played with this guy in a while,” Marciniak said of del Sol. “We needed a couple of games to remind ourselves how to play together again, but once it clicked, it was difficult to beat us.”
Playing against TeamUSA members Miles Evans and Bill Kolinske, Marciniak and del Sol were nearly defeated as they found themselves down one match in finals. Near the end of the second match, Marciniak and del Sol were one point away from losing that match and the tournament. They came back, however, winning that match and the one after it to claim victory on the day. It was del Sol’s third consecutive King of the Mountain win.
“It feels good,” del Sol said.
‘I WAS DYING’
Marciniak and del Sol also play together on the National Volleyball League professional beach tour, where they won the season title in 2015.
Marciniak arrived at 2 a.m. on Friday morning, and didn’t end up adjusting to the elevation while he was here.
“I was dying,” he said.
A group of several Floridians who Marciniak once coached came into Vail this weekend to take part in the tournament and watch him play.
“There were probably about 10 of us here,” he said.
While del Sol is local to Colorado, he’s not quite as local as women’s runner up Aurora Santos, who hails from Summit County.
Santos and partner Nola Basey played three sets against winners Cassie House and Devanne Sours in finals. Basey came back to Colorado on Friday from Italy, where she had spent the last five months. She said she came back when she did so that she could play in the King of the Mountain.
“It was a tough one,” she said. “Everyone was cramping up from the elevation.”
House and Sours came in from Albuquerque for the tournament. The two play for the University of New Mexico, where they usually play against each other.
“We’re both blockers, and we both play left side,” Sours said. “I’ve never played right side and never played defense.”
The pairing worked out about as well as it could.
“It was fun to be able to learn together and change our game a little,” House said. “I love the town, and the tournament is always very good.”
Sours, who just graduated from the University of New Mexico, will now try her hand at professional volleyball in Europe.
“I’m headed overseas in the fall,” she said.
Paul Cuthbertson, a lifelong local of Eagle and Summit counties, died while skiing up to the Polar Star Inn to meet some friends for a celebration of his 21st birthday on Friday night.