Saints’ trio named all-league
Congratulations to Vail Christian volleyball’s Rachel Glandorf, Brooke Horan-Kates and Lauren Mutter.
You’re all-league, but don’t rest on your laurels. Basketball practice starts today.
OK, maybe girls basketball coach Pat Beaudine will give you few minutes to bask in it. This trio deserves it, after all.
The three were part of a massive turnaround this year in Edwards, where the Saints went from 1-15 to 12-12, coming within two wins of state.
This is all-league win No. 2 for Horan-Kates, who also won this award last year.
“It’s an honor. It’s really nice. I don’t know what to say,” she said. “It’s an honor to be recognized by other coaches and not only by your teammates and friends and your family and your own coaches, but by others.”
Horan-Kates was a ferocious outside hitter. In addition to scattering opponents across the court with her kills, the senior was a team leader.
“Brooke is a fabulous competitor,” Saints coach Cathy Alexander said. “She doesn’t like to lose. She’s going to do whatever it takes to win. Not only that, she’s been a fabulous student of the game. She has learned it, and learned it well.”
And, as a result, she’s off the the 1A All-State Game in Broomfield this weekend. Saturday, she’ll be working out with the best 1A seniors in the state and, then, Sunday at 10 a.m., they play the game.
Horan-Kates’ partner-in-crime was usually Glandorf. The two formed a formidable one-two punch at the net, either putting the ball down or forming the block.
“Rachel is also an awesome player,” Horan-Kates said. “She’s huge at the net. She complements me and I complement her. We do whatever we can to make each other better.”
Though a very personable young lady off the court, Glandorf’s an intimidating presence. Alexander joked at Monday’s awards banquet about how opposing teams reacted to her this season.
“She’s tall and all the coaches were like, “Can’t you just lend her to us,” Alexander said with a laugh.
The answer would be no.
“I definitely did not expect (all-league) at all since I’m definitely more experienced in basketball,” Glandorf said. “I guess it’s really an honor and it shows that I have a really, really great coach. I just started in eighth grade. So she pretty much taught me everything I know.”
While Glandorf is being modest about her volleyball skills. she does bring up a point. Volleyball, although she’s really good at it, is technically her third sport. She’s already been named all-league in basketball and finished third in the state last spring in the 800 in track.
The feel-good and equally deserved story of this all-league trio is Mutter. She made it a goal to be all-league at the beginning of the season and was feeling a bit blue midway through Monday’s banquet when the awards were presented.
“Well, first, when (coach Alexander) was telling everyone about me and saying how it was my goal was to be all-league, and then she went on and didn’t tell who won, I thought I didn’t get it,” Mutter said.
No worries. Wear your all-league medal proudly. It’s deserved because the setter is the most underrated player on a volleyball team.
“I am very excited for her, mainly, because I couldn’t do the voting,” Alexander said. “The other coaches see her as a very consistent leader. If you didn’t have her, you’re not going to Rachel and Brooke (pounding kills). And the same goes for Nicole (Parker, the team’s other setter.)”
One final honor came for Vail Christian volleyball. Alexander has been elected to coach the Colorado Coaches of Girls Sports All-State Game next year.
Basketball starts today, but volleyball will not be far off these girls’ minds after the season they had in 2003. Despite losing Horan-Kates, Brittany Wright and Megan Barry to graduation, expectations are high for next year.
“It’s going to be fun,” Alexander said. “I didn’t always have the same six out there all the time. It wasn’t necessarily the three seniors. The kids who are coming back have just as much experience.”
Chris Freud is the sports editor for the Vail Daily. Contact him at (970) 949-0555, ext. 614 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.