VMS spikers serve up a win
EAST VAIL – It’s always nice to have a volleyball team to pick up your spirits after your football team blows a 13-0 lead in the final minutes of “Monday Night Football.”The Vail Mountain School did just that for its coach Mike Garvey Tuesday night, dispatching DeBeque, 25-5, 25-21, 25-7 at The Garven.”I’m glad the girls won tonight because the Cowboys were a heartbreaker last night,” Garvey said. “They got me back in good spirits. I was a little down all day today.”Not too worry, Mike, your Gore Rangers came to play Tuesday against the Dragons, traditionally one of the two teams that the 1A Mountain League sends to regionals each fall. With the win, VMS is 9-1 overall, 4-0 in league and has established itself as the team to beat in the Mountain League.”It’s a definite confidence builder,” Garvey said. “We knew that they could hustle. We knew that they were going to dig and that they were going to fight. That’s one thing that we haven’t done well – to outwork a team. Game 2 was a reminder of that. They’re going to come at us. They’re not going to roll over. But, I thought, the girls responded very well to it.”
While the Gore Rangers did scrape by DeBeque in Game 2, the story of the night was VMS’ serving. It was lethal. In Game 1, it was Aubrie Apple serving off 14 straight points. Game 2 belonged to Cely Brinkmann who ripped off a long run. Game 3? Enter Molly Etters with 10 in a row.”We’ve been working on that during practices,” Brinkmann said. “We’ve been using the technique of serving it long and floating it, which helps a lot because not everyone is expecting it to float down.” Not only were the trio as well as the rest of the Gore Rangers simply putting the ball in play from behind the line, they targeted the Dragons’ back line, a strategy which worked to perfection.”They’ve got five people back in their serve receive,” Garvey said. “So if you serve at the front, they’re ready for it. If you serve at the back, (four) people have to get out of the way. We wanted to force communication. We wanted to force the ball in an area where more than one player could have played it.”That combined with the attack of Apple, Brinkmann and Lindsay Wright spelled curtains for DeBeque.
The Gore Rangers have a busy schedule ahead this week. They host Coalridge at The Garven Thursday at 6:30 p.m., are at Ouray Friday and then are back home for Homecoming against Ridgway at 4 p.m.”We’re just planning on keeping the momentum going,” Garvey said. “We’re playing well and we’ll get some touches tomorrow. We want to get on the court and play again.”VMS soccer winsMeanwhile over at The Bob, VMS boys soccer logged its first win of the season with a 3-1 victory over 4A Steamboat Springs Tuesday. It was the Gore Rangers’ first win over the Sailors since Sept. 9, 1997.
“We still feel as though our focus has to be on the team’s development,” said VMS coach Bob Bandoni. “This is actually the third system we’ve tried this year. We’re searching for a system and a style of play which will tap into the talents of our personnel. I thought we started OK, but I thought we struggled to get rhythm throughout the game. It is encouraging to get a few goals. Of course, there’s no denying that. But, I still think that there is a rhythm that is missing, but within our grasp.”Both teams were playing in a new reality and it was apparent from the start. Steamboat, usually a 4A powerhouse, has seen better days. Rob Bohlmann’s crew is in a bit of a downcycle. Meanwhile, VMS is very young and understandably shows its age.Yet, as Bandoni says, “It is what it is,” and so VMS will take the win.”It felt good to get one under our belt, to know we can get it going,” team captain Max Avery said. “It gives us a little boost. We started a new system and I honestly didn’t think we played the best of games. But, we got it done.”After a scoreless first half, Steamboat’s David Comeau gave his team a 1-0 lead early in the second stanza. VMS responded nicely with an excellent serve on a corner kick from Blake Armstrong. Tucker Shelden corralled it and tied the game.
Avery the struck a 40-yard laser which clipped the net for the game-winning goal. “I saw the goalie come out earlier. He had been playing off the line,” he said. “So, I decided that I had the opportunity and I went for it.”Jackson Dowell gave the Gore Rangers some insurance, making it 3-1.VMS is next in action Thursday at the Colorado Rocky Mountain School. Vail, ColoradoSports editor Chris Freud can be reached at 949-0555 or via firstname.lastname@example.org.Vail Colorado