VMS outlasts Meeker in thriller
EAST VAIL, Colorado ” The Vail Mountain School and Meeker volleyball teams danced seemingly all Saturday afternoon, but the Gore Rangers are probably still floating today after winning one of their most memorable matches in years.
We leave the analysis to Matthew Garvey, 4.
“They played awesome,” the younger son of VMS coach Mike Garvey said.
“Sorry to keep you so long,” Dad joked.
It was worth the wait for VMS. The Gore Rangers avenged last year’s season-ending loss by beating Meeker, 25-14, 16-25, 27-25, 22-25, 15-12, for a thrilling Spirit Week game victory.
“It doesn’t matter if this is 2A or 5A or whatever else,” elder Garvey said. “This is one of the best matches I’ve ever been a part of.”
“We just stayed composed and focused on what this game is for,” VMS senior Chanda Wilcox said. “No one’s protected.”
And that is key as VMS (11-6 overall and 7-3 in the 2A Slope) heads into districts in little less than two weeks. Meeker had entered Saturday’s game undefeated in league and would have automatically picked up one of the league’s three regional berths, regardless of its performance at districts.
Thanks to VMS, the Cowboys are no longer undefeated and there will be three regional spots up for grabs when the league convenes the weekend after next.
“Awesome,” Senior Ande Brill said. “In our last home game, it’s awesome to beat a team like Meeker who’s been undefeated so far this season. It’s just great.”
This may have been a match between 2A schools, but it was a heavyweight bout. VMS looked unbeatable in Game 1 and Meeker quickly adjusted for an easy Game 2 win.
The Cowboys looked like they were starting to roll in Game 3 with a 6-2 lead, but then VMS dug in. The Gore Rangers overcame a spate of bad serving, but tied the game at 21 on a Brigitta Gehl kill.
The two teams traded points until 25 when Brill got behind the line. After the VMS front row forced a point, Wilcox put down an attack for the game-winner.
The Cowboys forced a decisive fifth game, and VMS seemed to be rolling toward a win taking a 14-6 lead. Then Meeker charged with five-straight-points. The fifth point of the run was the most nerve-wracking for VMS.
It seemed that Meeker’s Stacy Fitzgibbons shot was out, and the celebration began prematurely. But linesman Jamie Farquhar, who is also VMS’ athletic director, correctly called that a VMS player had tipped the spike for a Meeker point.
“We started screaming. I started crying a little bit,” Brill said. “But what you have to do is realize it’s still not over yet. We do want it more. We just have to keep pushing through.”
After order was restored, VMS did just that. Lynnie Somes put one down and the celebration was on for real.
“That was a really awesome feeling,” Somes said. “It’s so much better to put it away on a kill or on an out call. In the end, it came down to who wanted it more. It showed we obviously did.”
VMS takes on Resurrection Christian Friday on the road.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or email@example.com.
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