Vail Christian starts home slate with win
EDWARDS, Colorado – Those who went to Vail Christian volleyball’s home opener against Hayden came away with one distinct impression.
This school’s got a good volleyball team.
Vail Christian moved to 2-0 in the 2A Slope and 8-1 overall with a 25-21, 23-25, 25-14, 25-19 win against Hayden Saturday in Edwards. The Saints just won 10 game in 23 outings last season.
“I knew we had some big hitters, but the cohesiveness of this team is much better than I thought,” coach Cathy Alexander said. “Tonight was good. When we serve well, we’re a good team.”
Serving was critical Saturday and the Saints executed their plan to perfection. The Tigers are big and can dominate at the net, so Vail Christian served Hayden out of system. The general idea was to serve the ball deep so that Hayden could not easily pass the ball into its setter and set up its offense.
“We’re trying to keep that (first) pass from being within the 10-foot line,” Alexander said.
The risk in this strategy is that you can give up points by serving the ball long. That was not a problem from senior Brooke Bowles.
“I just served normally,” she said. “I didn’t notice any difference.”
While Vail Christian was the smaller team and played scrappy defense on its side of the court, not letting the ball touch the floor often, the Saints weren’t hesitant either to fire away at the net.
Bowles had 18 kills, while sophomore Ashlyn Gruber put down nine. After splitting the first two games, Vail Christian got cranking. The Saints closed out the third set with authority with two kills and an attack from Bowles with another kill from Dakota Francis with Kylie Alexander serving. Francis finished the game with a block.
The Saints led just 13-11 in the fourth and final set before Francis served off four-straight points. Bowles took over from there with the serving and Beri Dwyer smashed a few home and Vail Christian was off to win No. 8.
“It feels good to get our first home win in front of our home fans,” Bowles said. “We’re young. But we’re doing well. We’re a team. We play as a team. There’s no drama. We’re unified. It’s practice and working together. Our saying is, ‘God, team, me.'”
The Saints hit the road next week and are at Soroco Friday and DeBeque Saturday.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.