Gore Rangers volleyball sweeps series in Aspen
ASPEN – Like a Los Angeles Lakers team in the Magic Johnson days, the Vail Mountain volleyball team burst through the prep-season gates with a swagger and a bunch of victories.The Gore Rangers started their season Saturday in Aspen, marking three wins onto a clean season record in one fell swoop.”Looking at the whole picture, we’re definitely pleased to start out winning, but more importantly, we played well,” said VMS coach Mike Garvey. “We had areas to work on, and I think the girls are aware that they’re capable of playing better. So, to start out 3-0, knowing that you can play even better is obviously a great way to start your season.”VMS defeated Aspen, Hayden and Cedaredge in a grand total of 10 games in three, best-of-five series.The Gore Rangers gelled early against Aspen, winning their first game of the season and the series, in three games.”Aspen was a good match. In the second game and third game, we really stepped up a notch and played very well as a team,” said Garvey. “We did a lot of things that we wanted to do on offense. We had good, consistent serving throughout the match, and were really able to put together a couple of strong games.”VMS suffered its first loss of a single game to Hayden, but the girls responded by winning the match in four games.”Hayden was a scrappy team, and it took us a little while to adjust to their play. Serving inconsistency, on our part, really throughout the match kept things close,” said Garvey.VMS put its official stamp on the match in the second game with a gutsy, come-from-behind win.”I think, in the second game, the girls just did a really nice job of not letting (the scoreboard) mess with their play. They were able to maintain and regroup. They knew that if they could play consistent that they would come out on top,” said Garvey. “It wasn’t necessarily Hayden playing really well. It was us making mistakes. So, we knew if we cleaned up those mistakes, we could turn the score back around. And, that’s pretty much just what happened.”The Gore Rangers shut down Cedaredge, winning the first game, 25-18, the second game, 25-15, and the third game, 25-21.”In the first game, we were down … oh, it had to be at least 9-2, if not 10-2. We just started out a little bit unfocused and really not ready to play,” said Garvey. “We called timeout at that point – kind of let everybody know that we needed to get refocused. We rallied back – I think the score was tied at 15 – and we ended up winning, 25-18.”The Gore Rangers took seven players, captain and middle hitter Aubrie Apple, middle hitter Lindsay Wright, outside hitter Cely Brinkmann, middle/outside hitter Katie Wear, and Zoie Liota, among others, to balance out the rotation in smooth fashion.”This year, what I’m trying to do – with the way this team is – is just to keep things geared at the team without giving individuals a lot of credit,” said Garvey. “Fortunately, that’s the way we’re playing, too.”Garvey fiddled with the VMS lineup during the series against Cedaredge, switching Apple to the outside and moving Wear to the middle hitter position.”These changes we might possibly see in the future, and they might be a little bit stronger for our team,” Garvey said. “It was a chance to experiment with a new lineup, and there’s a possibility that it may have opened some doors for some different opportunities in the future. And, it was great to see that the girls were able to adjust and play with a different lineup.”The Gore Rangers head to Denver on Friday to face Christian Fellowship at 6 p.m. VMS hosts Ouray on Saturday at 2 p.m.Andrew Harley can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 610, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.