Vail Christian falls to top-ranked Regis Groff at home
Fusion defeat Saints 3-1 in boys volleyball on Monday night
Regis Groff, the top-ranked team in the 13-member Confluence League, paid a visit to Vail Christian on Monday. The Fusion (11-2) handed the Saints’ (1-4) inaugural boys volleyball team their fourth loss of the season, winning 3-1 (25-11, 23-25, 25-19, 25-15).
“I think it went really well. They were not expecting us to play that well, and we shocked them,” said Luke Olmstead, a Battle Mountain Nordic skier who is playing volleyball for the first time this spring. “I think it was a good game,”
The Saints’ roster uniquely pulls from all of the Valley’s high schools, making for what Olmstead describes as a “great community-builder.”
“It’s fun. We’re working hard, trying to improve, and having fun at the same time.”
“I think it’s really cool,” captain Kaden Williams added.
“It’s like a diversity thing that you haven’t seen ever in this valley. We have people from Battle Mountain, Eagle Valley — people from VMS come and practice. It’s really cool how we can just work together and get it done.”
Coach James Scott agrees.
“This is the best time I’ve ever had with volleyball, being on the court,” he said. “You see that everyone is having a blast.”
Scott is pleased with his athletes’ development.
“The team they were in early March to what they’re doing right now is absolutely outstanding,” he said, noting that footwork and swing mechanics are some of the most challenging skills for newcomers to hone.
“Trying to get their maximum vertical and turning their hip into their swing so they’re an effective offense weapon — these are things that take a long time,” he commented.
Williams said passing has also been a focal point.
“It’s what we do most of our practices,” he mentioned.
“Making sure we can receive those hard-driven balls and get them back to our setter so we can make our own points.”
A runner and skier in the fall and winter, the senior captain has observed marked improvement in the team’s rotations.
“We’re doing really well going from receiving these to going back to attack to going back to blocking, covering our attackers,” Williams stated.
Regis Groff sophomore Victor Villar provided ample opportunity for the developing Saints to practice all of those elements. Villar’s high-flying kills served as the game’s prominent storyline.
“23 could hit,” said Williams.
“We knew that coming in and we just didn’t shut him down the way we wanted to.”
The Saints took the second set from the Fusion, ranked No. 10 in the CHSAA RPI rankings, then hung tough in a back-and-forth third set, ultimately falling 25-19. In the fourth set, the visitor’s experience and confidence set the tone, giving way to a 25-15 rout.
Afterward, Scott reiterated the vision for his volleyball pioneers.
“This season wasn’t about wins, but it was about personal development and more importantly, team development,” he said of his initial message to players in March.
“Creating a culture and atmosphere that was going to be something for future generations to look forward to coming into this gym and being a part of. That was the staple statement and I think they are far exceeding what they thought this was going to be.”
The Saints host D’Evelyn, which sits in third in the Confluence standings, on Thursday.
“Every game we seem to get closer to the area we need to be,” Scott stated.
“I’m very proud of these young men and what they’re doing.”