VMS repeats at districts | VailDaily.com

VMS repeats at districts

They certainly earned it after Saturday’s Class 1A District Tournament in Delta, where they went 4-0 to repeat as district champs.

“I think more than anything they were exhausted,” VMS coach Mike Garvey said. “It was a really long day. They’re excited to be moving on. I think it hit the freshman a little later, being it was their first time through tournament play. But it’s definitely a good start.”

The celebration was somewhat-muted. That, of course, did not prevent the VMS faithful from making merry and taking the perfunctory hundreds of postgame photos.

And it was not lost on the Gore Rangers the significance of repeating as district champions.

“Everyone’s realizing how far we’ve come and how good we can be,” senior Juli Littman said. “We can play well if we’re confident.”

“It’s kind of nice to receive the district plaque again,” Garvey said. “We also received our league plaque. I hope this is the start of the expectation level for our program. We brought all the young girls along to get them a taste.”

VMS went about repeating much as the team has played all season – by methodically dispatching the opposition. The Gore Rangers swept past county-rival Vail Christian 15-5, 15-2. VMS overwhelmed Ouray 15-0, 15-2 to win its pool.

In the semifinals, Garvey’s gang locked up a regional berth by bouncing Ridgway 15-2, 15-5. VMS was finally challenged in the finals by old-foe DeBeque, but the Gore Rangers subdued the Dragons 15-11, 15-10.

Lara “Tree” Bossow led the way with 12 kills. Maggie Haslee pounded down five of her own and had four blocks. Aubrie Apple chipped in three kills, while Tiffany Allan was rolling along with 25 assists.

“It was well-played by both teams,” Garvey said. “DeBeque really stepped up. We were actually down in the second game. Juli did a good job of serving. The team pulled together. It was a gut-check and we came out on the good end of it.”

And just in time, because the Gore Rangers were exhausted by the time they received their spoils of victory. Allan and Cely Brinkmann both were playing with the flu, while Apple was nursing a strained ankle.

“We wouldn’t let Tiff warmup with the team so she would save her energy,” Tree joked. “We got tired toward the ends, but we refocused and used all our energy to come out on top.”

VMS hopes to recover early this week before preparing for regionals in Gunnison next weekend. The Gore Rangers and DeBeque advance to face the top two seeds from District 6. It will be a three-game, round-robin format with the top two teams advancing to the state tournament.

“The state tournament has been our main goal,” Tree said. “But we’ve got to take it one game at time time and play as well as we can. We’ve got to stay focused.”

Photos wanted

The Vail Daily is looking for photos from the VMS faithful. Please send digital action shots or team pictures to cfreud@vaildaily.com or call (970) 949-0555, ext. 614. The Daily will publish the pictures next week.

Chris Freud is the sports editor for the Vail Daily. Contact him at (970) 949-0555, ext. 614 or by e-mail at cfreud@vaildaily.com.

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