Devils spike Rams; Rifle next for title |

Devils spike Rams; Rifle next for title

EVVB Lassa & Phillips two-small KA 10-14-08

GYPSUM, Colorado “Eagle Valley celebrated its first title of the school year Tuesday night as the soccer team downed Steamboat Springs, 3-2.

And Devils fans may be doing this all over again Thursday night. That’s because Eagle Valley volleyball is on the verge of winning its first 4A Slope crown and first league title since 2003.

While the soccer team was clinching, the volleyball team downed Roaring Fork, 25-19, 25-18, 25-17 Tuesday night.

“It’s exciting,” Devils middle-blocker Kaycee Bair said. “I hope our school realizes how good it is right now, how well were doing and how far we’re taking it.”

“We’re not counting our chickens yet,” said Eagle Valley coach Shawn Weatherred, whose improved to 15-2. “If it happens, we’ll be really excited and proud about it. But right now, we still got to stay with one point at a time and come ready to play against Rifle.”

And it should be noted that Weatherred or any other coach in the Slope can say that last sentence without a smirk. Rifle actually has two wins in league this season after a drought dating back to the early part of the decade in that department.

In all seriousness, the Devils (12-0 in the Slope) need a win at Rifle Thursday or against Glenwood Springs at home Saturday to clinch the Slope and earn the right to host the District 7 Tournament one weekend from now.

But in the meantime, Tuesday night’s quick match was not only Senior Night, but an opportunity for both teams to try some things out.

“It was a good chance for us to get some of our young girls out there and get them ready so we can call on them when we go into postseason,” Weatherred said.

New faces

The Devils didn’t have much trouble with the 3A Rams. Eagle Valley served deep into the Roaring Fork end to keep the Rams’ serve-receive off balance. The Devils built a quick 15-6 lead in Game 1 when Roaring Fork coach Carrie Schultz called a timeout.

Though the Devils easily won the match, Schultz was much happier with her team’s performance after the timeout.

“We worked much harder on defense and were more aggressive,” she said.

In Game 2, Eagle Valley continued to roll, and the faithful got a look at a newcomer to varsity ” sophomore Emily Keener. Not only did she play solid defense, her strength, but Keener also served up five-straight points, capped by an ace to put her team ahead 24-15.

In the third, the Devils kept rmarching and capped their 13th win in 14 outings with a Kelsey Foster attack.


That was apropos on Senior night. Before the game, the Devils’ Whitney Wright, Karolina Zolniercyk, Angela Phillips, Foster, Whitney VanVoorst and Bair handed flowers to their families and took well-deserved bows.

“They’ve really helped turn the program to another level,” Weatherred said. “They’ve grown and taken ownership of the program.”

While Eagle Valley heads to Rifle Thursday, Roaring Fork (9-9) is at Aspen Friday in its regular-season finale. The Rams are in fifth place in the 3A Slope and need a win against the Skiers to better their postseason position.

“It’s great timing for a match like this because that’s a better team than we’ve seen all season and than we’re likely going to see in the tournament,” Schultz said. “It was a different tempo. We recognize that we need to be able to play at a higher speed.”

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or

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