Devils rewarded for a stellar season
GYPSUM – Eagle Valley volleyball made some early-season investments, and the dividends are still coming. The Devils had a slow start, but used a second-half surge to finish third in the 4A Western Slope and qualify for districts. Following a solid performance at districts, Eagle Valley had four players selected for postseason awards.Michelle Parmenter led the way for the Devils with an all-league nod. “She was the one who stuck out in coaches’ minds,” said Eagle Valley coach Rob Crawford. “She was a very smart player, and you can’t coach smarts.”Parmenter was honorable mention last year.”I wasn’t expecting it at all,” Parmenter said. “I figured I’d get honorable mention again.”
Ashley Farenholtz, Alissa Hollis and Whitney VanVoorst were honorable mention.Last year, the Devils finished in seventh place and only had two players with postseason awards – Parmenter and Farenholtz, who also honorable mention.Ashley was really coming around with her hitting towards the end of the year,” Crawford said. “Against Steamboat (in the final regular season match), she had 16 kills. We’re going to have to have somebody step into those shoes.”Hollis played solid defense as the team’s libero, while VanVoorst passed well from setter and crushed the ball as an outside hitter.Solid mix
Although she had a fair share of kills, Parmenter impressed many with her hustle and defense.”I love digging,” said Parmenter, who dove for just about anything on the court. “I think the coaches know I have a lot of heart and drive.”Crawford looked to Parmenter’s leadership all season.”She had some off days, but you couldn’t tell by her face that she was off, which is impressive for a 17-year old kid,” Crawford said.Thanks to a strong cast of characters, the Devils shrugged off a slow start and finished behind regional qualifier Palisade and state champion Battle Mountain.”I was extremely happy,” Crawford said. “We talked about it at the beginning of the year how we wanted to peak at the end and keep learning, even if it meant stepping back a bit to learn some things. We did just that, and the girls responded well. It was a fun year.”
At the district tournament, the No. 4 Devils won their pool and beat No. 1 Regis, but lost to No. 2 Cortez in the crossovers.”I wasn’t expecting to go as far as we did,” Parmenter said. “We had a lot of amazing wins – I was proud.”While the Devils lose four seniors – Parmenter, Farenholtz, Summer Forsyth Megan Struve – there are plenty of underclassman returning who performed well this year.”Whitney (VanVoorst) got into a game last year as a freshman and was scared to death and looked like a deer in headlights,” Crawford said. “This year she was running the team. A lot can happen in the offesesaon. It’ll be interesting to see how this club season goes. The kids change so much in the next six or seven months. It’s always fun to see who comes back doing what. It’s like Christmas Day.”Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or email@example.com.