Eagle Valley marches through Rifle | VailDaily.com

Eagle Valley marches through Rifle

Ian Cropp

Preston Utley/Vail DailyThe Devils' Ryanne Wilson (20) bumps the ball during Thursday night's match against Rifle. Eagle Valley won in three games.

GYPSUM – It wasn’t the nail biter of a game that the Devils played two days prior, but Thursday’s game was just as exciting. Eagle Valley volleyball beat Rifle in three games, 25-13, 25-17, 25-17 for the Devils second win of the season.The match was filled with good defense, long rallies, and stellar bench play. Eagle Valley controlled the tempo throughout the night, and only trailed Rifle for a few points in the second game.”In the beginning of the first game, the girls thought that maybe it would be a close game,” said Eagle Valley coach Rob Crawford. “Then, they realized they were a superior team, and when that happened, it was over.”After dominating the first game, Eagle Valley made some lineup changes. Moving to setter was freshman Kelsey Foster.”She did awesome, and I was really proud of her,” said teammate Summer Forsyth. “We really like having diversity on the team because with the younger players moving up, we know we’ll have a good team the next few years.”Forsyth also had a great game, and during the past two weeks, has earned a starting spot.

“She’s been coming along and has been making huge steps in her hitting and blocking,” Crawford said.The block of the game came off of Forsyth’s hands – three times. Late in the third game, Forsyth blocked three Rifle hits in a row, the third landing untouched on the Rifle side. “I was really excited – it was such a big rush,” Forsyth said.At 22-12, the Devils still had a few points to win before clinching the game, but the excitement on the Devils’ bench and in the crowd made it seem like the evening was over.Experimenting

Along with inserting Foster as the setter, Crawford put players in positions they normally don’t find themselves. At outside hitter, Hattie Higgins had several kills.For a stretch on points in the second game, the Devils trailed the Bears. Crawford kept many of the younger players in the game, and soon enough, the Devils pulled away.”They are not afraid to try new things, even when they are down,” said Rifle coach Geneva Farr.Rifle let many balls hit the floor in the first game, but adjusted to Eagle Valley’s quicker play in the second and third games.”Our defense and coverage of the court were the best parts of our game tonight,” Farr said.Tiffany Hardy led the Bears with seven digs, followed by Kelsey Feely, who had six.

Eagle Valley spread out the scoring among everyone who played. Ashley Farenholtz once again led the team in kills, registering six.”I saw some of the best hits I’ve seen since I’ve been with these kids tonight,” Crawford said.Up next for the Devils is Glenwood on Saturday.”They have good blockers and some tall girls,” Farenholtz said. “We will have to cover a lot and be good defensively.”Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 608, or icropp@vaildaily.com.Vail, Colorado