Eagle Valley overpowers Coal Ridge | VailDaily.com
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Eagle Valley overpowers Coal Ridge

GYPSUM, Colorado ” It can be a frustrating feeling to coach against the Eagle Valley volleyball team. The Devils possess too many weapons.

Try taking away Whitney VanVoorst, and Angela Phillips is there for the slam. If an opponent shifts its defense toward Shelby Wright, Alex Lassa will find the hardwood. Whitney Wright, Kelsey Foster, Karolina Zolniercyk, Kacey Bair, the list of offensive stars goes on.

Nearly every member of the Eagle Valley roster contributed in a three-game victory over Coal Ridge on Tuesday. The Devils handled the Titans 25-20, 25-19 and 25-16.



“(Depth) is the strength of this team, right now,” Eagle Valley coach Shawn Weatherred said. “We have more than one person we can lean on when we need to. If someone is having an off-night, someone else can step up and pick up the slack.”

A number of different Devils played a role in the Game 1 win. Shelby Wright hit a winner to give Eagle Valley a 11-8 advantage. Later, it was VanVoorst who racked up points with two kills. VanVoorst’s cross-court slam pushed the Devils’ advantage to 20-15.



Coal Ridge ran off four-straight points to close within 22-20, but a costly serving error gave the serve back to Eagle Valley, which eventually took the game.

The Titans came back strong at the start of Game 2. Coal Ridge’s Chloe Nelson hit a winner for a 4-2 lead. The Titans held a 6-2 advantage, when Eagle Valley reeled off eight-straight points to take control of the game.

Becka VanVoorst started the rally with a pair of aces. A Lassa kill made it 8-6 in the Devils’ favor. The freshman continued to produce, drilling three winners down the stretch to give Eagle Valley a 25-19 victory.



“Eagle Valley has a very balanced attack,” Coal Ridge coach Denise Greene said. “Our blockers were confused from the get-go, and struggled the whole match. They are a good team. They’re tough.

“They are very good at controlling the tempo, controlling the ball. We just struggled.”

Coal Ridge took another early lead in Game 3. Nelson gave the Titans the edge with a big kill. Jessica Needham followed Nelson with a tip that found open space for a 3-2 advantage.

Just like Game 2, Eagle Valley came back. Lassa and Zolniercyk combined for a block and a point for a 13-10 lead. Whitney VanVoorst tipped it over the net for another point, and a 22-13 lead. Phillips helped finished off the Titans with two more winners.

“We don’t have just one star player,” Whitney VanVoorst said. “It’s kind of mixed around between everybody. We have five good hitters. It’s not relying on one person.”

Eagle Valley (8-1, 5-0) hosts Rifle on Thursday.

Sports Writer Ian Smith can be reached at 970-748-2935 or ismith@vaildaily.com.


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