Devils brace for toughest games |

Devils brace for toughest games

Ryan Slabaugh

For the Devils volleyball team, county rival Vail Mountain School brings in an 11-0 team that’s ranked No. 2 in 1A, but has beaten up on 4A and 5A schools all season. Eagle Valley’s coming off a 15-8, 15-6 win over Soroco Tuesday and stands at 7-2 on the season, and a perfect 3-0 in the 3A Western Slope League.

While the improved Soroco team might have caught Eagle Valley off-guard, the Gore Rangers will not. Devils head coach Karl Talcott knows just what will walk into Eagle Valley gymnasium tonight at 6 p.m.

“I’d be happy if we play well,” Talcott said. “Tuesday, we didn’t play well. We didn’t get to do some things we wanted to try.”

The challenges keep coming Friday as Hotchkiss rolls into Gypsum for the Homecoming match starting at 5:30 p.m.

The Devils know this week holds meaning toward the rest of the season.

“We’re looking at this week as a challenge,” Talcott said. “We played a team we’re supposed to beat, we’re playing a team that’s one of the best in the state, and we’re playing a game we really need to win. Hotchkiss always makes things interesting. We need to keep focused while these other Homecoming activities are going on.”

The soccer team meanwhile, is coming off a must-win against Roaring Fork and now face Basalt, who at 6-2 is ranked No. 7 in 3A state, tonight at 4 p.m. at the Eagle County Fairgrounds.

The Devils beat the Rams Tuesday 5-4 in a game that kept Eagle Valley in the running for that third spot in regionals. Steve Stanford scored two goals, while Jordan Miekle, Paige Mickley and Derek Fawcett added one.

Five goals tonight would be a blessing against the league frontrunner.

“We’re going to need to control the ball, play as a team and have communication,” Fawcett said. “I think it (the season) is going well. We’re caring a lot more than last year, and we already have more wins.”

The soccer team also plays Saturday, traveling to Nederland for a nonconference game starting at 4 p.m.

Softball hits the road

The Devils softball team, fresh off a doubleheader sweep of Gunnison to clinch the conference title, travels to Palisade today for a 4 p.m. start. The Devils will also be running the concession stands Friday at the football games, trying to raise money for uniforms and travel costs.

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