Vail Mountain falls to Paonia in three games |

Vail Mountain falls to Paonia in three games

Ian Smith
Vail, CO Colorado

PAONIA, Colorado ” It’s tough to practice and work on the nuances of volleyball when a good portion of a team is injured. Vail Mountain found out the hard way on Thursday.

The Gore Rangers fell to Paonia 25-17, 25-21 and 25-15 on the road.

A number of Vail Mountain players have been battling injuries for the past two weeks. On Thursday, only two weren’t able to play, but it was clear the team was rusty after limited practice time.

“Between just recovering from injuries and recovering from illness, we weren’t 100 percent,” Vail Mountain coach Mike Garvey said. “It took its toll on us in the match.”

The Gore Rangers jumped out to a 6-1 advantage in game 1, but they couldn’t hold on. Mistakes caught up with Vail Mountain.

“There were too many errors on our part,” Garvey said. “It was a quality opponent who kept the ball in play.”

Paonia reversed the start of game one, taking a 6-1 lead in the second set. Vail Mountain rallied to tie the second game, 15-15, but the Gore Rangers couldn’t attack aggressively because of miscues on offense. Paonia went on to win the game, 25-21.

In the third game, Paonia cruised to a 25-15 victory to end the match.

“We did a lot of things well, but we had little imperfections,” Garvey said.

Despite the loss, Vail Mountain did well serving the ball. The Gore Rangers served above 85 percent for the game. Garvey also credited libero Hilarie Bellis and Clare Elich for their strong play on Thursday.

Vail Mountain (2-3, 0-2) is off to Simla on Saturday for a all-day tournament.

Sports Writer Ian Smith can be reached at 970-748-2935 or

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