Vail Christian takes Vail Mountain in three
EDWARDS – Welcome to Vail Christian: The Next Generation.
Saints volleyball is still adjusting to new faces in new places, but still had enough to down the Vail Mountain School, 25-15, 32-30, 25-15, Thursday in Edwards.
“We’re old now,” Vail Christian senior Ashlyn Gruber joked. “This year Kenzie (O’Brien), Kylie (Alexander) and I had to step up as leaders. We’re not the young ones anymore. But we’re coming together. We still have some quirks to fix, but we’re getting better each game.”
Everyone associated with Vail Christian volleyball had too feel good about the trio of Alexander, Gruber and O’Brien, all seniors, returning. The fun thing to watch is comparatively younger players finding their role.
Sophomore Casey Curuchet, who tactfully-put, is not exceedingly tall, showed some serious hops and firepower. Juniors like Paris Baker and Gracen McGuckin have bigger roles and seem to be filling them. The result is a 5-0 start after Thursday’s win.
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“It’s happening, but it was not without struggle,” Vail Christian coach Cathy Alexander said. “But they had to have that in order to find their fit. It goes around every year, regardless if you’re young or old. When you put new players into the lineup, it’s always is a struggle.”
Struggle was the theme of the day for both teams, which is fine at this early point of the season. Alexander thought her team’s passing wasn’t quite where it should be and that limited the Saints’ attack. VMS coach Mike Garvey is still juggling lineups to find the needed consistency over the course of an entire match.
“The long drive over, I don’t know if we really ever recovered from that,” he joked. “We’re seeing what we’re capable of. It’s just a matter of us getting back in the gym to practice to make it consistent. We like what we’re capable of, and we feel good about it. We know we’ll get to a point this season where we’ll maintain that level of play.”
The highlight of the evening was Game 2, a 32-30 marathon. The Saints led, 24-20, before a furious rally by the Gore Rangers. The two teams were tied at points 24-30 before a Gruber attack and a nice serve from Kylie Alexander finished the game.
Alexander began the game by giving balloons to her sister, Taylor, who turned 13 Thursday.
VMS (2-4, 1-1) has the weekend off before going to Soroco for a triangular with the Rams and West Grand. Meanwhile, Vail Christian hosts Rangely tonight at 5.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or email@example.com.