Vail Christian, Vail Mountain set for districts
Vail, CO Colorado
EDWARDS, Colorado ” Two cross-county rivals wouldn’t mind seeing each other in a championship match this weekend.
Vail Christian and Vail Mountain are both in the 2A District 5 Volleyball Tournament Friday and Saturday at Paonia High School. Not only that, both teams are in the same pool, along with Hayden and Rangely.
Three teams will advance from District 5 to regionals, but only two spots are up for grabs after Meeker claimed one by winning the 2A Slope league title.
“It’s pretty wide open,” Vail Mountain coach Mike Garvey said. “It’s going to come down to the teams that play well.”
Both the Saints and Gore Rangers should have plenty of confidence. Vail Mountain was the only team to beat Meeker in the regular season. The Gore Rangers scored a five-set victory over the Cowboys in East Vail two weeks ago. Vail Christian (9-10) also notched a big victory, sweeping No. 2 seed Rangely earlier this year.
The key to maintaining that success for the Saints is playing consistent volleyball.
“The key for us right now is to not make a lot of unforced errors,” Vail Christian coach Cathy Alexander said. “If you look back at the scores, a lot of our losses, we’ve had spurts of greatness, but never really put it together.”
Luckily for Alexander, she lists a strong group of seniors on her roster. Michelle Discher, Sam Francis and Allie Parker should provide stability for Vail Christian because of their vast experience in the postseason.
“They are the backbone of the team,” Alexander said. “They keep the kids grounded with their play, and with their attitude ” keeping everybody positive. You have to have that leadership. They kind of came into their leadership half way into the season. They’ve been phenomenal.”
Vail Mountain injury free
Maybe for the first time all season, the Vail Mountain (9-6) volleyball team is injury-free heading into today’s district matches. The Gore Rangers dealt with their fair share of ailments early in the year, and now Garvey is just happy to have everyone healthy.
With all of their weapons on the court, the results have improved.
“A lot of the teams we played early in the season haven’t seen us at full strength,” Garvey said. “We are going to go out and play as well as we can.”
One advantage for Vail Mountain is its array of big hitters. Brigitta Gehl, Lynnie Somes, Chanda Wilcox, Clare Elich and Ande Brill are all capable of spiking the ball. It’s Cynthia Edgerton’s job to spread the ball around, and make sure the opposing blockers have no idea who it’s going too.
“Cynthia has learned that setting is not a random thing,” Garvey said. “You have to know where the mismatches are based on the blocking. She did a good job of not only learning that, but I think she excelled at it.”
Vail Christian starts the tournament on Friday afternoon with a matchup against Rangely at 3 p.m. The Saints then take on Hayden at 7:30 p.m. to close out play on Friday.
Vail Mountain faces the same schedule, only at different times. The Gore Rangers play Hayden at 4:30 p.m., then Rangely at 6 p.m.
On Saturday, Vail Christian and Vail Mountain meet in the last pool play match for both teams at 10:30 a.m. The first crossover match will follow at approximately noon.
Sports Writer Ian Smith can be reached at 970-748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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