Vail Valley preps wrap for Saturday |

Vail Valley preps wrap for Saturday

HAYDEN – This seems to be title-clinching week for local teams, so Vail Christian volleyball didn’t want to get left out.

The Saints knocked off Plateau Valley, 25-14, 25-16, 25-14, Friday night in Edwards to clinch their second 2A Slope title in three years. While it is not the ultimate goal – returning to Denver for the state tournament and making some noise would be – it’s nice to stick another flag on the wall in the gym in Edwards.

“It is a goal,” Saints coach Cathy Alexander said of a league title. “You’ve got to do it one step at a time. It’s something to be proud of.”

With the league crown in their hip pocket, the Saints used Saturday’s game to adjust the lineup with the postseason in mind. Though Vail Christian fell to Hayden, 25-21, 22-25, 19-25, 27-25, 15-9, Alexander was pleased with the way the Saints adjusted to the new approach.

“We moved Gracen (McGuckin) to the left side and she lit it up,” Alexander said. “She had 14 kills.”

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Ashlyn Gruber was pretty decent as well with 28 kills. Serving was Vail Christian’s undoing. The Saints try to serve opponents off system, but 18 serving errors are too much to overcome. It’s safe to say that the Saints will be working on that aspect of the game in practice as they work their way to districts in Olathe next weekend.

Vail Christian finished the regular season with a 17-2 record.

Devils sweep twinbill

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS – Six is better than 10.

Eagle Valley went the full 10 games earlier this month when Moffat County and Steamboat Springs came calling for a doubleheader. Saturday, the Devils were much more efficient, sweeping the Bulldogs, 25-18, 25-19, 25-18, and the Sailors, 25-16, 25-16, 25-17.

“We did what we had to do against Moffat County and we took a step against Steamboat,” Devils coach Shawn Weatherred said. “Our middles, Erin Burnett and Ashley Newborn, really got involved. I’ll have to look at the video, but they had a lot of kills, which means our passing improved tremendously.”

And that’s a good way to go into the district tournament in Durango, where the Devils will likely see Steamboat Springs again.

Eagle Valley went 14-5 in the regular season.

VMS heads to Rangely … again

RANGELY – Ahh, the joys of volleyball travel. Just as Eagle Valley played Steamboat Springs in Steamboat Saturday and will go down to Durango to play the Sailors again in districts, Vail Mountain School volleyball will be heading to Rangely twice in the four days.

“Yeah, in fact I just called (VMS athletic director) Jamie (Farquhar) and said that we’ll be staying here,” VMS coach Mike Garvey joked. “We’ll take classes on the Internet.”

VMS got a weekend split, sweeping Hayden before falling at Rangely in five games.

And so, VMS (8-11) earned the fifth seed in 2A districts and gets to go right back to play Rangely on Tuesday.

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or

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