Super spikers | VailDaily.com
YOUR AD HERE »

Super spikers

Steve Larson/Vail DailyThere's a lot ot of local flavor to the 2007 All-Western Colorado Volleyball Team. Clockwise from the top left are Annalisa Padget, Jen Thul, Kristin McGinty, Kelly Bowles,
ALL |

The Hollywood awards season is off to a slow start with the writers’ strike, but that didn’t stop us.

The writers of the Western Slope ” The Vail Daily, Glenwood Post-Independent, Craig Daily Press, Steamboat Pilot, Grand Junction Free Press, Durango Herald, Cortez Journal, and Motrose Daily Press ” give you the 2007 All-Western Colorado Volleyball Team, and there are some very familiar faces from both Eagle-Vail and Edwards.

Battle Mountain’s Devon Abbott and Jen Thul made the first team, while teammates Alexa Corcoran and Kelsey Plath are second team. Kelly Bowles and Kristin McGinty represent Vail Christian on the third team, along with the Huskies’ Annalisa Padget.

These players were selected regardless of classification ” from the 1A Saints to 5A Grand Junction ” and from some exceptional teams. The west side of the state prospered on the court last season with not only Battle Mountain and Vail Christian making repeat trips to the Denver Coliseum, but also Durango’s undefeated run through the 5A Southwestern League and 4A Montrose’s first state appearance in years.

Secret?

When the season opened, Battle Mountain was ranked fourth by the Rocky Mountain News and the paper had a note that “Devon Abbott’s the state best-kept secret.” Maybe to Front Range, but not to the Slope.

The senior was one of the best middle blockers in the state, and got the Vail Daily’s vote for Player of the Year, which went to Durango’s Jasmin Stoner. Don’t worry, Abbott won just about every other award known to volleyball ” all-state honors by four different organizations as well as 4A Slope Most Valuable Player.

Not only was she a force up front, but added versatility to her game with excellent mobility on the back line. There was really no secret when it came to Abbott. She was facing a double-team most of the season and it didn’t matter.

Thul was a secret to most at the beginning of the season. But if you had watched her at during Homecoming 2006, when she started in place of Nicole Penwill, maybe not. In her first full year starting, the senior came into her own. She blistered kills all year as an outside hitter.

Big shoes

The team’s previous player at your position won all-league, all-state, all-Colorado and All-American awards. Good luck filling her shoes.

Corcoran had an impossible task trying to replace Britney Brown at setter and did it with aplomb. She ran the offense wisely and efficiently. She was steady all season, and even at her listed height of 5-foot-8 (harumph) had a few blocks.

Plath’s selection is an astute one. Traditional postseason teams don’t go by position ” in those you get a lot of outsides and middles and nothing else ” but we did. Plath’s role as a libero ” and no, they didn’t run out of the same colored jerseys, so they had a different-hued one for her ” was vital to Battle Mountain’s successful season. For all the lovely passes from Corcoran and thundering kills from Abbott, Thul, Pagdet and the like, it all started in back.

Glenwood Springs didn’t get a player on the All-Western Colorado Team. The Demons’ loss was Battle Mountain’s gain. Padget, who moved east on Interstate-70, was the find of the year for the program. With Plath and Padget returning for their senior years, the future remains bright for Battle Mountain.

Here come the Saints

Of the 21 spots on the All-Western Colorado Volleyball team, 17 went to players from 4A or 5A schools. (A reminder ” the small schools like 1A Vail Christian are thrown in with the big schools.) But if you make state two years in a row as the Saints did, the respect follows.

McGinty and Bowles are among the best, regardless of classification. McGinty was superb in the middle. The bigger the game, the bigger she was. Though making state is the goal, one such example was the annual rivalry game against the Vail Mountain School. McGinty led the Saints to a win with 14 kills.

If opponents sat on McGinty, they were choosing their poison. Bowles was waiting in the wings. Not only was the senior a powerful hitter, but she could play just about anywhere on the court.

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or cfreud@vaildaily.com.

The honor roll

All-Western Colorado

(as voted by the media)

First team

Devon Abbott, Battle Mountain

Jen Thul, Battle Mountain

Second team

Alexa Corcoran, Battle Mountain

Kelsey Plath, Battle Mountain

Third team

Kelly Bowles, Vail Christian

Kristin McGinty, Vail Christian

Annalisa Padget, Battle Mountain

4A Western Slope All-League Team

First team

Devon Abbott, Battle Mountain, Player of the year

Alexa Corcoran, Battle Mountain

Allisa Hollis, Eagle Valley

Jen Thul, Battle Mountain

Honorable mention

Hannah Ellison, Battle Mountain

Kelsey Foster, Eagle Valley

Kori Landauer, Battle Mountain

Annalisa Padget, Battle Mountain

Whitney VanVoorst, Eagle Valley

2A Western Slope All-League Team

First team

Molly Etters, Vail Mountain

Elsie Macsata, Vail Mountain

Chanda Wilcox, Vail Mountain

Honorable mention

Lynnie Somes, Vail Mountain

1A Mountain All-League Team

First team

Britini Beagley, Vail Christian

Kelly Bowles, Vail Christian

Molly Brooks, Vail Christian

Kristin McGinty, Vail Christian

Honorable mention

Sammantha Francis, Vail Christian

Brooke Bowles, Vail Christian

Allie Parker, Vail Christian

Denver Post All-State

First team

Devon Abbott, Battle Mountain

Second team

Kristin McGinty, Vail Christian

Honorable mention

Kori Landauer, Battle Mountain

Kelly Bowles, Vail Christian

Jen Thul, Battle Mountain

Rocky Mountain News All-State

First team

Devon Abbott, Battle Mountain

Honorable mention

Kori Landauer, Battle Mountain

Kristin McGinty, Vail Christian

Colorado Coaches of Girls Sports All-State Game

Devon Abbott, Battle Mountain

Kelly Bowles, Vail Christian

Alexa Corcoran, Battle Mountain

Molly Etters, Vail Mountain

Kristin McGinty, Vail Christian

Colorado Coaches Association All-State Game

Devon Abbott, Battle Mountain

Alexa Corcoran, Battle Mountain

Mike Garvey, coach, Vail Mountain

Jen Thul, Battle Mountain


Support Local Journalism


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User