VMS losses on contested point (or lack thereof)
With apologies to a certain East Vail soccer coach, this was the Gore Rangers’ Bucky Dent, their Bill Buckner.
After opening pool play with a three-set loss to Caliche, the top-seeded Gore Rangers appeared to have righted the ship against Otis and were seemingly back on course to make a run for the state semifinals.
VMS had pulled out to at least a 13-8 lead in game 3 against the Bulldogs. Then, the inexplicable happened. Somewhere during its rally, VMS was not credited with a point it had earned. The issue came to head at when VMS was leading 13-8 (actually 14-8).
The Gore Rangers lost the argument and eventually the match. When Maggie Haslee served her third point to make it 14-8, it should have been over. That was VMS’ 15th point. Instead Otis rallied for eight-unanswered points, leaving the Gore Rangers all-but eliminated and their fans, shall we say, somewhat perturbed.
But to the credit of the team there was no talk of wine-and-cheese from VMS.
“At that point the score was 13-8 and we needed to score two points before they scored eight and they scored eight,” VMS coach Mike Garvey said adamantly. “I told them that everyone out here is going to be talking to you about the score and your response is, “We had our chances and blew it.’
“That’s the level that this program is going to set and our fans need to adhere to it. The girls responded in agreement. We picked our heads up and go, Karval, go.”
At that point, VMS needed Karval to beat Caliche, followed by a VMS win over Karval plus an Otis victory over Caliche this morning to entertain any hopes of the semis. That was quickly dashed when Caliche took care of Karval.
What likely hurt the most about the loss was that seniors Lara “Tree” Bossow, Maggie Haslee, Tiffany Allan and Juli Littman were playing their final game for VMS Friday night. All seniors are special, but this quartet deserved a better fate.
No regrets from Tree, though.
“We talked about the fact that even though the score did get messed up a little bit and that some people think we should have won the game, we decided that we aren’t going to let it get to us,” the senior said. “What happened, happened. We can’t do anything about it. …
“The sun will come out tomorrow,” she added with a laugh.
Chris Freud is the sports editor for the Vail Daily. Contact him at (970) 949-0555, ext. 614 or by e-mail at email@example.com.