Ding, dong: VMS Tops Ridgway | VailDaily.com

Ding, dong: VMS Tops Ridgway

David L'Heureux

Wedding bells echoed Saturday, and reverberated through the ranks of the Vail Mountain School’s volleyball coaching staff.

Head coach Mike Garvey was out of town for a wedding Saturday, leaving junior-varsity coach Jessica Blount, who also had a wedding to attend immediately following the game, at the helm.

The Gore Rangers found themselves down early after dropping the first game to Ridgway 25-20. The home team would respond in impressive fashion, though, by winning the next three games, increasing its margin of victory with each successive game to win the match, 3-1, and allowing the interim coach to make it to the church on time.

“I think the girls played a really consistent match all-around,” said Blount after the game. “It’s their first league game as a team and I think they played just awesome.”

It would have been easy for VMS to hang their heads after losing a disappointing first game to a visibly taller and stronger opponent like Ridgway. But the girls rallied behind some good serving, smart play and a little good-old-fashioned hustle to win the next three games by counts of 25-22, 25-25 and 25-11.

“The serving really improved after that first game,” said Blount. “They played really smart volleyball after that. They put the ball in empty spaces to overcome being small and they really hustled and communicated out there, too.”

Sophomore outside-hitter Cely Brinkman sacrificed her body digging out loose balls, as well as hitting some strong serves. Middle-hitter Lindsay Wright had numerous kills and some untouchable serves putting VMS up, 10-5, in the crucial fourth game.

From there, the team would not look back. Co-captain and sophomore Aubrie Apple led the young group by example throughout the entire match, with some solid defense at the net, a big serve and a couple of timely kills.

“Aubrie, Lindsay and Cely really stood out today,” said Blount. “It was a team effort, but those three really stepped it up.”

The Gore Rangers looked stronger and stronger in every area as the game wore on, a good sign for the team as it embarks on the rest of their 2003 campaign. They play Vail Christian Tuesday at 6 p.m. at St. Clare of Assisi Parish, in Edwards.

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