VMS, Saints spikers honored
The 1A Mountain League All-League Volleyball Team has a distinctly blue tint to it.Who made the team? Vail is a safe bet.Between Vail Christian and the Vail Mountain School or VMS and Vail Christian, depending on your allegiance, the two local 1A schools had five all-leaguers and four honorable mentions. It’s an appropriate validation by the coaches of the league that quality of volleyball is increasing in the valley.Vail players went one-two-four and five in the voting with Lindsay Wright (VMS), Rachel Glandorf (Vail Christian), Cely Brinkmann (VMS) and Lauren Mutter (Vail Christian). DeBeque’s Julie Palmer was the cream in the Vail Oreo cookie.VMS’ Lara Green rounded out the local all-league contingent. Honorable mentions went to VMS’ Miranda Farley and Katie Wear and the Saints’ Kaley Hagerman and Nicole Parker. In other postseason honors, VMS’ Aubrie Apple and Vail Christian’s Rachel Glandorf took home Rocky Mountain News all-state honorable mentions.The Gore RangersThis is Brinkmann’s third appearance in as many years for the junior on the team. The outside hitter has made a living creaming kills into submission as an outside hitter.Brinkmann’s contributions to VMS volleyball go well beyond spiking. She has assumed the role of Maggie Haslee, VMS Class of 2002.”She’s someone we need to have to speak up and motivate and kind of fire people up and get us going,” VMS coach Mike Garvey said. “That’s a big role she plays. It’s not only in her voice, but her play.”Wright makes appearance No. 2 on the all-league team. She battled with a thumb injury for part of the season, but really rounded out her game in 2004.”She’s always been a great hustle player and a great defensive player,” Garvey said. “I think the big change she made this year was not only working defensively on the net, but becoming a stronger attacker.”Green is a first-timer and an observant choice by the league’s coaches. Like Mutter, her counterpart in Edwards, Green is a setter. Attackers like Wright, Glandorf, Brinkmann and Hagerman get the “ohhs,” the “ahhs” and the glory. But if players like Green and Mutter don’t get the ball nicely up front, you can forget it.Green walked into the role of setter last year straight out of junior varsity, filling the monster shoes left by Tiffany Allan and hasn’t stopped since.”She never took the role for granted,” Garvey said. “She has continued to make herself not only a good setter, but a great setter.”Apple won honors from the Rocky in her role has middle blocker. One of the taller players in the league, she was a big presence on the net, both blocking and on the attack.The good news for VMS is that defending league champions return all but Wear from their postseason honorees. The SaintsGlandorf was an absolute no-brainer for the all-league team. This is selection No. 2 in volleyball for the all-league team. She also appeared in the 1A state game, the second Saint in as many years to represent Vail Christian at Broomfield High School.A friendly figure off the court, Glandorf was a menace on it, likely one of the most intimidating players in the league with her height and athleticism.While Saints coach Cathy Alexander was unavailable for comment for this article one of the things she has said that she likes the best about Glandorf is her willingness to improve on her volleyball skills, despite her inherent athleticism.Mutter spent most of her season feeding Glandorf, Hagerman and the rest of the Saints’ front line. Glandorf and Mutter, both seniors, are a big reasons that Saints volleyball has risen from obscurity to district contender the last two years. After a 1-15 season in 2002, the Saints have won 20 games in the last two years, including two over VMS.Honorable mentionsThe 1A Mountain league didn’t have a honorable-mention honors before this year, so cheers to Farley, Wear, Hagerman and Parker.Parker, a setter, will likely step into Mutter’s role at setter next season, while Hagerman will be the go-to girl in 2005 in the attack. Farley returns for another season in East Vail, splitting duties with Green. Wear, who graduates in the spring, was an outside hitter who showed her versatility moving to the middle when Wright and Apple were out of the lineup.Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 614 or email@example.com.