Vail Valley preps wrap for Thursday
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Eagle Valley soccer controls its playoff destiny with two games remaining in the season.
The Devils did their part with a big 2-0 win at Glenwood Springs Thursday, and got some help from their archrivals as Battle Mountain downed Steamboat Springs, 3-2.
The Huskies are in with the league title and an 8-1 mark in 4A Slope. The Devils and Sailors are now tied at 5-3 for second place. With three league teams going to state, Moffat County at 4-3 is on the outside looking in with seven days to go.
The formula is now simple, at least in terms of playoff scenarios, for Eagle Valley. Beat Steamboat and Battle Mountain, Tuesday and Thursday, and the Devils are assured of a playoff spot. There are other scenarios that work involving Moffat at Glenwood Saturday and Steamboat at Moffat Thursday, but Eagle Valley winning out is the easiest on the brain.
“We played pretty well. It’s good to have everyone healthy for the first time,” Devils coach Jason Rittmiller said. “Battle Mountain’s won the league title, so we’re playing for seeding.”
The Devils completed a season sweep of Glenwood, something their rivals could not achieve, with a penalty kick by to the lower-left corner by Kevin Escobar in the first half. In the second, the Devils strung together a nice sequence of passes, capped by a beauty of a shot from Enrique Amancio for a cushion.
“That was real team effort,” Rittmiller said. “We talked at half time about how it was good to get a penalty kick, but that we needed to get a goal on our own. We worked hard and we got it.”
Eagle Valley (7-5-1 overall) hosts Steamboat Tuesday and Battle Mountain Thursday at Hot Stuff Stadium. Both games start at 6 p.m.
Eagle Valley 3, Delta 2
DELTA – The playoff scenarios are much simpler for Eagle Valley volleyball.
Beat Palisade on Saturday, and the three-peat in the 4A Slope is a done deal.
The Devils made the math easy by knocking off Delta in five, 27-25, 25-12, 20-25, 25-27, 15-9, Thursday on the road.
“It’s hard. It’s a long drive,” Devils coach Shawn Weatherred said. “We got up 2-0, but we had a hard time maintaining a consistent level of volleyball. We have to figure out what we do when things go south.”
That said, Eagle Valley is still 8-0 in the Slope and 13-2 overall, but Weatherred continues to look at the bigger picture when the No. 6-ranked Devils face tougher competition come districts.
“The good thing was that we did get to play a fifth game,” Weatherred said. “That gave us a little test to battle back. Hopefully, that will help when it comes to the postseason.”
Eagle Valley tees it up Saturday at 1 p.m. against Palisade in Gypsum.
Palisade 3, Battle Mountain 1
PALISADE – The second half of league play is looking a bit different for Battle Mountain volleyball.
The Huskies avenged a loss to Glenwood Springs last week, and pushed Palisade Thursday, 20-25, 26-24, 25-23, 25-23, in a loss to the Bulldogs. Palisade won the first encounter between the two teams easily, 25-19. 25-20, 25-15.
“The overall theme of the night was trust, being able to trust in each other and trust in yourself,” Huskies coach Lara Bossow said. “The hard work is paying off. We started the season off in a rough way, but they’re starting to work as a team, and they’re a team to be reckoned with whether our record says it or not.”
Krista Norris led the Huskies with 19 kills, while LaRose Currie had a double-double (15 kills and 13 digs). Jayna Horn had 36 assists and eight digs, while Cayla Bluhm chipped in seven digs.
And the good news for the Huskies is that they finish the regular season at home. Saturday, the Huskies host Delta at 1 p.m.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.