VMS spikers start 6-0
After dispatching 3A state semifinalist Aspen in the season opener, the Gore Rangers ripped off five wins last weekend to win the Best of the West Tournament at Moffat County High School in Craig.
So much for a complacency complex after going 23-6 last season and making the Class 1A state semifinals.
“It was great. It was nice to see,” said coach Mike Garvey, who’s in his fifth season in East Vail. “We didn’t just walk through it. We beat some good, quality teams. I think when we first looked at Moffat County, Hotchkiss and North Park, we were expecting really competitive games.”
Chalk VMS’ performance up under the category of teamwork with a capital T. The buzz around the 6-0 Gore Rangers is that they have a chemistry of which even Ross Sappenfield of the VMS science department would be proud.
“Whenever someone did something right or whenever there was a kill, the whole team was screaming and yelling,” VMS senior Maggie Haslee said. “There was so much enthusiasm. We attacked as a team and there was a lot of communication. Basically, we worked together as a team – bump, set, spike. The serves were in. Everybody put in the effort.”
It seems that the new kids on the block – freshmen Aubrie Apple, Cely Brinkmann and Lindsay Wright – are fitting in well.
“I think they’re bringing something totally different that we’ve never seen before,” Haslee said. “They’re young, but they have the experience and the enthusiasm that all the seniors have. It’s really enjoyable to see everybody at the same level and the goal is the same.”
VMS started its run in Craig by whipping past Moffat County’s junior varsity squad in two games. Against 2A Hayden, VMS went the full three for the only time during the weekend. The Gore Rangers wrapped pool play by sweeping past 3A Hotchkiss in the minimum two games.
“So we began to tighten up in the third game,” Garvey said. “We beat them 15-3 in the third game. It was impressive that we could bear down.
“Hotchkiss was a good match. I think every player on Hotchkiss had to average 5-9 or 5-10. I think we finished the Hotchkiss game with 24 blocks. It was quite evident that we dominated the net play as the shorter team. Tiffany Allan, I think, had five blocks. Cely had a block. Those girls are 5-4.”
VMS finished the weekend with a semifinal win over Moffat County’s varsity side and a victory against North Park in the finals.
VMS opens league play Saturday at 2 p.m. against Crested Butte.
Chris Freud is a sports writer for the Vail Daily. Contact him at (970) 949-0555, ext. 614 or email@example.com.