Many miles later, Vail Mountain wins three at Simla |

Many miles later, Vail Mountain wins three at Simla

SIMLA, Colorado – There’s a good chance when school opens today at the Vail Mountain School that its volleyball team may not be back from its weekend adventure.

The Gore Rangers went to the Simla Tournament, and if you don’t know where Simla is, take Interstate 70 out to Limon and then hook a right for another good 20 miles. (And to think that former soccer coach Bob Bandoni didn’t like going to Paonia.)

But if you’re going to travel 207.59 miles, according to, you might as well get in a lot of volleyball.

VMS did just that, going 3-2 and taking third place in the eight-team tournament.

The Gore Rangers opened with host Simla and fell, 2-0, but bounced back with pool wins against Payton and Elbert in two sets. (All matches were best-of-three.)

In the semifinals, VMS ran into Kiowa and lost in two before downing Palmer Ridge for third place. While VMS was in unknown territory as far as geography and opponents, it’s worth noting that has Simla ranked third in 2A, while Kiowa has also been receiving votes in the coaches’ poll.

“We were fairly competitive, but we were too inconsistent,” VMS coach Mike Garvey said. “In our three wins, we looked like rock stars. In our two losses, we looked like we’d never played volleyball before. A lot of that can be chalked up to the competition, but we’re teetering between being good and great. We’ve got to find a way to be more competitive against stronger squads.”

While the tournament was an exercise in getting to know the Centennial State, it was also a good opportunity for the Gore Rangers to get together and play multiple matches in one day. The latter is something VMS certainly hopes to do come late October and in early November.

“It was good to be able to talk and have the girls spend time together,” Garvey said. “You can have a two-hour practice, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you talk and get to know each other. It was also good to see how the girls responded to situations. We lost to Simla and we had to come right back and play the next game. Those are nice situations. You don’t have to wait four days or something before your next match.”

VMS (5-4) does get a little break before heading Rangely Friday for its 2A Slope opener. The Gore Rangers are back in East Vail Saturday for Homecoming against Hayden.

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or

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