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Vail Mountain falls short

Ian Cropp

SOROCO – Vail Mountain volleyball went to bed Friday night knowing it needed some good play and good breaks to prolong its season Saturday at districts.Meeker opened the door for the Gore Rangers early Saturday morning, and one match later, Vail Mountain picked up a win against West Grand. But the Gore Rangers’ season came to an end with a loss in a one-game tiebreaker to determine second place in the pool.”We were pleased. We were playing at the top of our game and were in good sprits,” said Vail Mountain coach Mike Garvey.Friday, Vail Mountain started on the right foot against Meeker, grabbing the first game, 25-23.”That was exactly what we wanted to do,” Garvey said. “Meeker just came back. We caught them off guard.”

The Cowboys went on to beat the Gore Rangers, 23-25, 25-20, 25-20, 25-17.”We were playing well and competing,” Garvey said. “They were a stronger team. Against a team like that, you’ve got to play well and hope for a few bounces your way.”After a long break, Vail Mountain then played Hayden.”We had recently played them, and the girls had revenge on their mind,” Garvey said.Vail Mountain closed out its regular season with a five-game loss to Hayden. Friday, the Tigers pounced on the Gore Rangers and pulled out a 25-16, 25-16, 26-24 win.”We got a little misguided,” Garvey said. “It was evident we weren’t in that match.”

Short memoryMeeker’s win over Hayden Saturday dropped the Tigers to 1-2, and provided the Gore Rangers with the motivation they needed heading into their match with West Grand.”The girls did a great job preparing,” Garvey said.Much like they did against Meeker, Vail Mountain took the first game. But the Gore Rangers squashed the Mustangs’ hopes of a comeback and closed things out, 28-26, 25-15, 20-25, 25-21.With West Grand, Vail Mountain and Hayden all at 1-2, the Gore Rangers had to play the Tigers in a one-game playoff, with the winner facing the Mustangs. Vail Mountain didn’t make it far enough for another shot at West Grand, as the Gore Rangers fell, 25-17 to the Tigers.

“They got up early by four or five points, and in a one-game playoff, it puts pressure on us,” Garvey said. “In a match situation, you can relax a bit, but essentially it was like a game five. We got down and battled, but Hayden did a good job, and we had too many errors.”Garvey saw great improvement from his team in their final matches of the year.”Early in the season, we were around 60 percent at best in serving,” Garvey said. “This weekend, were at around 90 to 95 percent. We kept ourselves in it by serving consistently.”Della Elich, who was out with a sprained ankle, came back to give the Gore Rangers a boost.”I wasn’t at 100 percent, but you’ve gotta count your blessings,” Elich said. “Playing was 100 better than sitting on the bench watching. This weekend we did a phenomenal job with our composure. We struggled with that in the past, at least I know I’ve struggled with that in the past. But we found ourselves and were able to stay consistent.”The Gore Rangers’ outside hitters created opportunities at districts, Garvey said.

“At the beginning of the year, we’d shy away from it,” Garvey said.Vail Mountain graduates Elich, Kelsey Ferguson and Janelle Kibler-Silengo. Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or icropp@vaildaily.com.Vail, Colorado


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