Saints close home season with victory
EDWARDS – Vail Christian volleyball brought a surgical touch to St. Clare’s Saturday, as the Saints sliced kills through the holes in Ouray’s defense to win in four games – 25-16, 27-29, 25-20, 25-15.
In the Saints’ final home match of the season, the stats for kills, blocks, aces and assists were so evenly spread, a vote for most valuable player might yield a team-wide tie.
“What I’ve enjoyed most about this year’s team is that in order for them to win, it requires a complete-team effort,” said Vail Christian coach Cathy Alexander. “And, today’s game was no different. So, I can’t really single anyone out.”
The Saints played the first game-and-a-half without their three seniors, who were hard at work on their SATs.
After losing the first point, the Saints kick-started their offense with an unreturnable serve from sophomore Bradie Beagley and an ace from freshman Meghan Struve.
The Trojans picked up a couple points, but Saints middle hitter Rachel Glandorf took three successive points with two kills and a block, increasing Vail Christian’s lead to, 11-5.
Saints sophomore Kaley Hagerman, setter Lauren Mutter and Glandorf all had a piece of the kills, and Hagerman led the Saints on a 7-0 run from behind the service line to put Vail Christian up, 22-7.
Ouray mounted a futile, comeback effort, and the Saints won, 25-16.
“It was good to get to see next year’s team in the first game,” said Alexander. “They pulled together well, and won the first match.”
In the second game, the two teams stayed even for the first dozen points, when Trojans junior Fiona Meinert’s serve grazed the top of the net, nearly falling to the floor. Mutter’s subsequent diving effort sent a net-grazing bomb to the Trojan floor, sparking a 5-1 Saints run.
Ouray fought back to trail, 15-14, but Saints senior Brooke Horan-Kates came in the game at that point – fresh off aptitude testing – and her mere presence on the court sent Vail Christian on a 6-1 run.
The Trojans battled back to tie the game at 24, and went on to win, 29-27.
“I’m not sure what happened in the second game, but we let them sneak back into it,” said Alexander. “Ouray is good for being a young team. They were missing a few seniors as well.”
The Saints struggled at the beginning of the third game, but a couple of kills from Megan Barry, a block and an unreturnable serve from Horan-Kates put the Saints ahead, 11-10.
Hagerman killed an epic volley to fatten the Saints’ lead to 17-13.
The Saints maintained their lead to win, 25-20.
The Saints and the Trojans split the first, four points of the fourth game, but Horan-Kates led the Saints on an 8-0 run.
Hagerman went on a run with impressive serves, giving the Saints a 19-14 lead, and forcing an Ouray timeout.
The Trojans put up a huge fight on the next point, but the extensive volley ended on a nail-in-the-coffin kill from Barry.
The Saints improved their league record to 5-2, and their overall record to 7-7.
“We needed this win,” said Alexander. “We have one practice before we face Vail Mountain School, and, obviously, a win there would be big.”
The Saints travel to East Vail Tuesday to face the Gore Rangers at 6 p.m.
Andrew Harley can be contacted at (970) 949-0555 ext. 610 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.