Vail Valley preps: Lassa’s kills lead Devils past Huskies
Vail, CO Colorado
GYPSUM, Colorado – The raucous home crowd gave Alex Lassa a jolt of energy on the volleyball court Tuesday night, she said.
And the name on the opponent’s jerseys was pretty good motivation, too.
“It’s Battle Mountain,” Lassa said.
Eagle Valley swept its cross-county rival, 25-18, 25-23, 25-14, in Gypsum, powered by Lassa’s 20 kills.
“I just wanted to win,” Lassa said. “So I went all out, and I didn’t even think about anything. I just went out there, and I was like, ‘We’re going to win.'”
The Devils were able to make good passes to the net and then use their size to their advantage, said coach Shawn Weatherred. He was surprised that the match ended up being a straight-set victory, he said.
“This rivalry never really is straight sets,” he said. “Or, if it is, it’s really close games in those straight sets.”
The first game started out close, with the score tied at seven. But Eagle Valley went on a roll, scoring seven of the next eight points.
The second game was back and forth throughout. A kill by Battle Mountain’s Krista Norris gave the Huskies a two-point lead, 18-16. But the net play of Lassa and the service game of junior Shelby Wright – who recorded four aces in the match – helped the Devils surge past the Huskies.
Eagle Valley opened up a big lead right away in the third game and never relinquished it. The team improved to 3-2 overall and 2-0 in the 4A Slope.
Other standout players for the Devils included junior Daillen Culver, who notched seven kills.
Battle Mountain swept the series from 2005 through 2007, going on to win the conference title in each of those years. But Eagle Valley ended that streak last year, winning one of two games versus Battle Mountain, and the Devils went on to win the conference title.
Those results have made volleyball one of the few sports in which there’s a true rivalry between Battle Mountain and Eagle Valley.
Plenty of students from both schools cheered on their teams. Loud chants of “Eagle Valley” and “Battle Mountain” bounced from the respective cheering sections on each side of the court.
“They don’t have to self-motivate,” Weatherred said of his players. “It’s just there. The energy in the room is there. Everything’s there without them. They just go out and play. It’s actually a relief for them. They just have to go out there and use the energy and not have to worry about manufacturing that energy.”
Battle Mountain fell to 2-3 overall and 1-2 in conference play.
Coach Lara Bossow said her team needs to start over – immediately.
“We got scared, and that’s it,” Bossow said. “When you get scared, everything breaks apart. And that’s what happened. Our passing, our setting, our hitting, our serving. It all fell apart.”
A bright spot was the play of libero Cara Murbach, she said.
Next up for both Battle Mountain and Eagle Valley are home games against Moffat County and Steamboat Springs on Saturday.
Sports Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 970-748-2929 or email@example.com.