Devils volleyball blazes on the home court
GYPSUM – Eagle Valley volleyball continued on its quest toward postseason glory Saturday by defeating Meeker in three games – 25-14, 26-24, 25-16 – and the Vail Mountain School in four games – 25-11, 25-14, 10-25, 25-22 – in a “volleyball triangular.”
The 3A Devils handled their opponents with relative ease, but that’s not to say the 2A Cowboys and 1A Gore Rangers didn’t put up a fight, impressing the Eagle Valley fans and, especially, the Devils themselves.
Even though Eagle Valley swept Meeker, the Cowboys proved why they are among the best 2A teams around.
The Cowboys lost the first and third games to the Devils by significant margins, but, in the second game, the Cowboys dominated until the end.
Meeker rushed out to a 23-14 lead over the Devils, but setter, Whitney Donohue, caught fire behind the service line.
“Whitney’s servings sparked our comeback,” said senior Trista Sandoval. “She had more than a couple aces. Plus, she hit some undiggable balls.”
Donohue led the Devils on a stunning 12-1 run to beat the Cowboys, 26-24.
“They were a good, defensive team,” said Donohue. “It was a good day, coming off a loss (to Hotchkiss Friday).”
Kenzie Shreeve, the 3A leader in kills, led the Devils with 14 against Meeker. Kelli Verderber added five kills.
Shannon Aragon had six digs in the match, and Donohue posted 22 assists.
The Gore Rangers, who lost in three games to Meeker, showcased their grittiness against Eagle Valley.
The Devils jumped out to a 2-0 lead, and decided to play their second-string in the third game.
“As a middle blocker, they forced me to move fast and work hard,” said junior Mandy Fischer.
VMS jumped on the opportunity, and crushed the Devils, 25-10, in the third game.
“VMS has always been a good team,” said Sandoval. “They’re in the same situation as us; they lost a lot of seniors. And, they had a lot of tough hitters today.”
The Gore Rangers’ dominance in the third game impressed the Devils.
“Due to the loss of the third game, we needed to come out and take care of business,” said Donohue. “Our second-string played hard against VMS. Rachel (Sandoval) had a bunch of good hits.”
In the fourth game, the Devils took a relatively large lead from the start, but VMS battled back to tie the game at 21.
“There were a couple times, they gave us a run for our money,” said Fischer. “But, we kept on top. In the games we played today, I think we showed some of the best teamwork we’ve had all season.”
Shreeve led the team with 10 kills against VMS. Sandoval had four kills, and Fischer had three.
Donohue and Fischer led the Devils with four blocks apiece. Sandoval added three.
The Devils boosted their overall record to 9-3.
“This team can be down on the scoreboard at any time, and turn what looks like a looming loss into a victory,” said Eagle Valley coach Karl Talcott. “We can now start pacing ourselves, as we work toward the postseason.”
The Devils host West Grand Tuesday at 5 p.m.
VMS travels to Crested Butte Friday.
Andrew Harley can be contacted at (970) 949-0555 ext. 608 or at email@example.com.