Devils spikers striving for a strong season
GYPSUM – Set out running, it’s their turn to shine; the enemies of the Devils will fall in time.
Or so Jerry Garcia might have sung it, if he were making a prediction for the 2003 Eagle Valley volleyball season.
The Devils lost five starters to graduation, leaving Kenzie Shreeve, Trista Sandoval, Shannon aragon, Whitney Donahue, Mandy Fischer, Alesha Jones, Mariah Scott, Jessica Stiles and Kelli Verderber to see how far their talent and game experience, from last year, will take them.
Coach Karl Talcott is optimistic about their chances this year.
“What this young group lacks in game experience, they’ve more than made up for in attitude and intensity so far in practice,” said Talcott. “Of course, we’ll have to see how everyone develops in game situations. However, I feel like we’re ahead of last year as far as the rate of development so far.”
Shreeve will man the outside hitter position, and is the Devils’ only returning starter.
“I think we’ve got great experience in Kenzie, who’s really battle-hardened,” said Talcott. “She’s non-vocal. She speaks with her spikes.”
The Devils’ lone senior is Sandoval, who is known for her outstanding work ethic.
“She (Trista) is probably one of the shortest middle hitters I’ve ever coached,” said Talcott. “But she more than makes up for her height in brains and intensity.”
Eagle Valley’s program brims with talented players this year. The Devils have 33 players in all – nine on varsity, 12 on junior varsity and 12 freshman.
There are eight juniors on varsity, alongside Sandoval.
“We have a lot of youth and promise this year,” said Talcott. “With the young pool of players, we have a lot of flexibility. Every practice is like a job interview, and the players know that. So they work hard to impress the coaches.
“A lot of players floated up last year. They sat the bench some games, but got into others, even some at state,” said Talcott. “But, I’m really pleased with our core group. Our nine-person squad is a strong bunch.”
The Devils volleyball squad all practice together, so freshman often have the opportunity to pit themselves against the varsity.
“The Western Slope has a lot of teams with a lot more game experience than us. They know we’re in a rebuilding season,” said Talcott. “However, I’m excited to see what these young kids can do. I’m looking forward to a great season. We always have a lot of support from families and parents, which gives us a big advantage at home.”
Lisa Wipperfurth and Cory Strickler join Talcott on the coaching staff. Wipperfurth is, primarily, the JV coach, and Strickler works most with the freshman.
The Devils varsity heads to the Demon Invitational at Glenwood Springs on Friday and Saturday.
Andrew Harley can be contacted at (970) 949-0555 ext. 608 or at email@example.com.