Eagle Valley ready to play host
GYPSUM, Colorado The Eagle Valley volleyball players will still hate their alarm clocks on Saturday morning, but it will be a lot better waking up in their own beds, instead of on a bus after a long road trip.Thats the reward for winning the 2008 4A Slope League title. The Devils will host the District 7 Volleyball Tournament at Eagle Valley High School, and at Eagle Valley Middle School all day on Saturday.We start at 8 a.m., so the (other teams) are going to have travel, Eagle Valley coach Shawn Weatherred said. Thats definitely the benefit of winning league. We can sleep in our own beds, and hopefully get a good nights sleep, even with the Battle Mountain football game on Friday.A possibly late Friday night aside, Weatherreds squad is looking forward to hosting districts for the first time.Its pretty exciting, senior Angela Phillips said. Its nothing Ive experienced before. I definitely have a lot of energy, and Im excited for it.Eagle Valley can thank its depth and consistency for its rise to Slope champs. Weatherreds deep bench allows him to keep players fresh, and not worry about who is in the match.The formula was successful during the regular season. The Devils boast a record of 17-2 heading into districts.Were a really tight team, senior Whitney Wright said. We are best friends with each other. In practice, we never really get down on ourselves. We have a lot of fun.A key point in Eagle Valleys season came after an untimely ACL injury to Whitney VanVoorst at Palisade on Sept. 30. The senior possessed a powerful spike, and leadership skills on the court. When VanVoorst went down, the Devils season could have easily followed.It didnt.A number of Eagle Valley players stepped up to fill VanVoorsts role. On of those spikers is VanVoorsts little sister Becka. Her serving and setting expertise helped replace some of Whitneys talented skill-set. Freshman Alex Lassa is helping take the place of Whitneys thunderous kills.Beckas played great in her role, Weatherred said. Its good for the fact that we can get Alex out there more, now. She has a job, and thats to put the ball away. Shes doing that really well.Have we met before?Eagle Valleys District 7 pool looks very similar to its regular season schedule. Glenwood Springs and Delta are the other two teams in the Devils half of districts. On the other side is rival Steamboat Springs, plus Montezuma-Cortez and Mullen.The familiarity is a positive and negative, Weatherred said. Eagle Valley went 6-0 against Delta, Steamboat and Glenwood this season, but Weatherred knows it will be much tougher to beat each a third time.Its good and bad, Weatherred said. Its bad because you have to beat one team three times in one season. Even at this level, as a coach, we would rather face somebody you dont know because of the mental aspect. Steamboat won three games against us, Glenwood won a game against us, and Delta won a game against us. That part is good because we know we have to play well (to win).If Eagle Valley advances past pool play, the Devils must win its next match to qualify for regionals.I think that we never know whats going to happen, Phillips said. Volleyball games can turn like that. We are going to go out there and try our best.Sports Writer Ian Smith can be reached at 970-748-2935 or email@example.com.District 7 TournamentPool IEagle ValleyDeltaGlenwood SpringsPool IIMullenSteamboat SpringsMontezuma-CortezPool 1 is at Eagle Valley High School. Pool II is at Eagle Valley Middle School.(Times approximate)Eagle Valley vs. Glenwood Springs, 8 a.m. Mullen vs. Montezuma-Cortez, 8 a.m.Glenwood Springs vs. Delta, 9:30 a.m. Mullen vs. Steamboat Springs, 9:30 a.m.Eagle Valley vs. Delta, 11 a.m. Steamboat Springs vs. Montezuma-Cortez, 11 a.m.First crossover game at 1:15 p.m.Second crossover game at 2:45 p.m.Championship at 4:30 p.m.
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