Hayden eliminates Vail Mountain spikers
HAYDEN – Hayden volleyball will move on to the district tournament in Rangely this weekend after the Tigers defeated the Vail Mountain School, 3-1, Tuesday night in a play-in game.
After the match, Tigers senior Morgan Bell left the court optimistic about Hayden’s chances of finding more success in the next round.
“The last couple of games, we’ve been kind of slow, and we’ve just been watching the ball come over,” Bell said “We’ve been watching the game more than playing it, but I think this match was a turnaround. We played so much better.”
The Tigers came out on top of a hard-fought match against the visiting Gore Rangers. Hayden and Vail Mountain School went back and forth in the first game before the Tigers pulled away to a 25-21 win down the stretch. But in the second, the Gore Rangers got strong play at the net and powerful hitting from senior Clare Elich to keep the Tigers off balance. Vail Mountain led the game the whole way and held off a late Hayden run to win, 25-23.
Hayden coach Greg Johnson said the Tigers were able to rebound after losing the second game and eliminate the mistakes that had hurt the team the rest of the way. The Tigers rallied in the third game en rout to a 25-20 win and rolled to victory in the final game, 25-16.
“I have to give a lot of credit to Hayden; they played really well and overcame a lot of the things that we were trying to do,” Vail Mountain coach Mike Garvey said. ” They picked the ball up really well. I felt like our servers did a good job, but Hayden was able to pass the ball effectively, and over the course of the match, we just could not put enough pressure on them to win.”
Hayden’s Erin Koehler led the Tigers’ attack with four kills. The junior also had four blocks in the game. The combination of Koehler and fellow junior Aubree Haskins, who had three kills and three blocks, forced Vail Mountain to hit around those players at the net. Elich found some success, but in the third and fourth games, Hayden’s scrappy receiving game helped the home team pull away.
“We just refocused and got the next two wins,” Hayden’s Lindsay Parrott said.
The Tigers also got solid performances from Parrott, setter Delanie VeDepo and Brette Frentress, who still was shaking off an illness.
“Brette was sick last night, but she had a huge game for us today,” Johnson said.
The Tigers, who finished the regular season at 10-9 will advance to face the two other first-round winners and top seed Rangely this weekend in a round robin tournament. The top-two teams will advance to the regional tournament.
The loss marked the end of the season for the Vail Mountain School team.