Vail Mountain School’s ‘Tree’ commits to CU
Come the fall of 2003, that is going to change.
Bossow, a junior, verbally committed to the University of Colorado at Boulder on Monday, meaning that her home games will be at the Coors Events Conference Center, which seats 12,000.
“When I went and visited, the school really made me feel at home and everything,” Bossow said. “I really enjoyed it a lot. The coach is really nice. I met a couple of players, who were really nice. Everything seemed like it fit.”
And so CU got the nod over schools like Stanford, Colorado State, Wisconsin and Texas. Bossow will get a full scholarship and becomes the first VMS athlete to play a Division I sport since Mike Slevin kicked for the Buffs from 1993-96 and Mike Johnston and Rik Littlefield played soccer for Yale and TCU, respectively, in 1997.
VMS coach Mike Garvey had two reactions to the news.
“My first reaction would be that it’s well-earned,” he said. “I don’t know that I’ve ever been involved with an athlete that works as hard as she does. The second part of it is that I’m glad she’s staying in state so I can watch her in Boulder.”
In her three years at VMS, Bossow has emerged as one of the premiere players in Class 1A. Last year alone, as VMS went 23-6 and made the state semifinals, Bossow made her all-league squad, and the all-state and all-state-tournament teams.
Nevertheless, the step up from 1A Colorado volleyball to the Big 12 will be quite a challenge, not to mention moving from a high school of 80 kids to a college campus of 28,000.
“It’s going to be a change,” Bossow said with a laugh. “A lot of my Vail friends are going to CU, which I think will help a lot. It’s going to be a big change because I’ve been at VMS (from kindergarten until her senior year this fall). It’s more exciting than anything. I kind of want a challenge. I perform under pressure. When there are more people to compete against, I do better. It’s really exciting, but kind of nerve-wracking.”
Bossow will be entering a strong program. The Buffs went 19-11 last year and made the NCAA tournament for the 10th straight season. Colorado finished the season ranked 24th in the nation.
Bossow said that she would love to start her freshman year, but more realistically, she won’t see much time as an alternate. Instead, she’ll be devoting herself to improving her skills and getting used to the college environment both academically and athletically.
“I need to keep improving my vertical so I can be bigger,” Bossow said. “Even though I’m on the shorter end of most people, I can jump higher. So I need to keep doing that. And I just want to become faster and stronger all-around.”
Bossow’s scholarship to CU also raises the visibility of VMS volleyball in the state. Virtually unknown until last year’s breakout season, VMS volleyball is clearly on the radar screen.
“This past year, obviously, gave us a lot more recognition than we’ve had in the past and Lara having this opportunity will only give us more recognition,” Garvey said. “I think that recognition is going to fall on other players. A little bit is going to fall on the school and a little bit will fall on me. I think that’s great.”
What’s also great is that Bossow, as well as a good portion of last year’s VMS volleyball team, will be back in the fall.
“There’s so much excitement,” Bossow said. “Everybody’s already talking about it and we’re three months away. Everybody wants to be as ready as they can be. We’re not 100 percent sure of what’s going to happen, but we would love to make a run for (the state title).”
Bossow’s proud parents are Tim and Mara Garton of East Vail and Gary Bossow of Wolcott.
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.