VMS spikers take DeBeque in four | VailDaily.com

VMS spikers take DeBeque in four

EAST VAIL – Tim Garton, who has sent five daughters through the Vail Mountain School, was in trouble for a while Tuesday evening during the VMS-DeBeque volleyball game.

You see, the Gore Rangers had cruised to 25-17, 25-23 wins in the first two games of the match. Then, Tim showed up.

DeBeque won Game 3, 25-16, and, by the time the visiting Dragons were up, 7-2, in Game 4, there was a murmur in the stands of “Three more points, Tim, and you’re out of here.”

Well, Tim, you’re off the hook. VMS rallied for a 25-22 victory in Game 4, giving the Gore Rangers a four-game win, a 4-0 league mark and sole possession of first place in the 1A Mountain League.

“(Tim and Mara) are always welcome to come back. They’ve got to realize that we never at any point, just serve in,” said VMS coach Mike Garvey, inferring that it was his team’s serving and general play which was the problem in Game 3, as opposed to Tim. “Note to parents – that is not our philosophy. We serve zones we serve aggressively all the time.”

In Game 4, that started with Lauren Utzig who, after a nice tip from Aubrie Apple, got an ace to start the rally. Cely Brinkmann, playing sick, smashed a kill, followed by a nifty tip from Apple, and the Gore Rangers were down just 9-7.

Down 14-10, VMS got the sideout and and ace from Brinkmann. Katie Wear then served three-straight points to tie it at 16 and the possibility of Garton’s exile was diminishing.

The teams tied again at 18 and at 20. At 20 each, enter Zoie Liotta, who was in for Utzig in spots during the game. Her first serve ended with a nice block from Apple. On the next point, Lindsay Wright ended a ferocious rally, which included two more blocks from Apple, with a kill. Liotta followed with an ace and VMS led, 23-20.

“Zoie Liotta did a great job,” Garvey said. “She played a big role – served really well at the end of the game, was very consistent as a hitter and kept the ball in play as a passer. She did a really nice job.”

“It was a fun experience. You can learn a lot from players on the court,” Liotta said. “The girls are really helpful. It’s really fun. I was really nervous. It was great because we were close to winning. We were coming from behind.”

The comeback was complete when Apple slammed down another and Wear delivered the closing kill.

With the win, VMS sits atop the 1A Mountain League, but Garvey isn’t resting easy yet. There’s still some improvement to be done.

“We got caught playing their game for a little bit,” Garvey said. “They’re a tough, scrappy team. They’re going to place the ball. They’re going to use tips. They’re going to use roll shots. We kind of got in that mode with them of going back-and-forth.

“When the hitters realized that they have to take the swings to get the job done, sure enough, here we go, starting playing like we can. It’s tough to do it against that team.”

VMS hits the road this weekend with Ridgway Friday and Ouray Saturday.

And, Tim, you’re more than welcome to make the trip.

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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