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Gore Rangers come up just short

Ian Cropp
Vail, CO Colorado

RANGELY ” For three of four matches, all went according to plan for the Gore Rangers.

But in the fourth match ” the one that decided if Vail Mountain volleyball would tack on at least one more week to its season ” the Gore Rangers came up just short.

After winning its pool at districts, Vail Mountain fell in the crossover match to Meeker Saturday, 25-21, 25-18, 18-25, 25-19.



“We played good, we just had some errors, but the errors were because of Meeker’s play,” said Vail Mountain coach Mike Garvey. “We tried to make adjustments, but they were just blocking us and digging us.”

Vail Mountain entered the weekend without starter Chanda Wilcox, along with Kelsey Peck and Amy Mallouk.

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“Not having her, or the player that backed her up, we knew it was going to be tough,” Garvey said. “But coming out of (Friday) 2-0, we felt pretty good. People were doing their jobs and we got our rhythm going.”

When the Gore Rangers took a look at their bracket last week, they knew that as the No. 3 seed, they had little room for error.

“We saw that the ideal situation was to come out in first place in our pool,” Garvey said. “Ideally you didn’t want to face Rangely, the No. 1 team.”



After beating No. 6 Paonia on Friday night, 20-25, 25-18, 25-15, 25-23, the Gore Rangers knocked off No. 7 Grand Valley, 25-23, 25-15, 25-23.

Then, on Saturday, Vail Mountain faced a No. 2 West Grand team that had beaten them earlier in the season. Vail Mountain gutted out a long match to win, 25-20, 23-25, 25-19, 23-25, 21-19.

“It was phenomenal,” Garvey said. “We were up a point, down a point, tied ” the whole nine yards.”

But Vail Mountain just didn’t have enough to get by No. 4 Meeker in the crossovers.

“Meeker played very well,” Garvey said. “In our two wins (against them) before, they made mistakes … our serve-receive , which has been strong, had to change (without Wilcox) and it wasn’t as strong as it has been.”

“We went deep into our bench this weekend and saw a lot of good things from sophomores who really stopped up and gave us an opportunity to do what we did,” Garvey said.

In only their second year in 2A, the Gore Rangers tied for second in their league and brought a much-improved effort to the court all year.

“I feel like this year we showed the league that Vail Mountain School is a good program and has good character and good volleyball players,” Garvey said. “I think that in the long run, this means a lot.”

Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or icropp@vaildaily.com.


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