VMS volleyball beats Vail Christian in a thriller
EDWARDS – The Gore Rangers stormed into St. Clare of Assisi Parish Tuesday night favored to beat Vail Christian, but the Saints put up a valiant fight, forcing the Vail Mountain School to have to battle out of a 0-2 deficit to earn the victory.
VMS won the match 3-2 – 22-25, 17-25, 25-15, 25-22, 15-12.
“I’m extremely pleased with the poise our team showed, to play that long and hard after being down 0-2,” said VMS coach Mike Garvey. “I’m pleased with the way they hung together and chipped away at the deficit, one point at a time.”
The Saints did not fall, in the last three games, without an epic struggle.
“I thought it was a great game. The teams were evenly-matched,” said Vail Christian coach Cathy Alexander. “They have a great team, and we played tremendously.
In the first game, the Saints took an early lead, but VMS fought back on some aggressive digs and kills.
The Saints pulled ahead to a 21-18 lead, in the middle of the game, led by strong play from the middle hitters, junior Rachel Glandorf – seven kills, four aces – and senior Brooke Horan-Kates – three kills.
The Gore Rangers fought back to tie it at 21, but the Saints held on for a 25-22 win.
Riding the high off the early victory, the Saints bolted out to a 10-1 lead in the second game.
The Gore Rangers’ Aubrie Apple showcased her powerful spikes and tall blocks, as VMS went on a 10-6 run. And, Lindsay Wright added some deep kills, but the Saints finished VMS off, winning the game 25-17.
The Gore Rangers played the third game with a team-wide ferocity, which had been missing in the previous two games.
Setter Katie Wear was on-point all game. The velocity on Cely Brinkmann’s serves and spikes seemed to increase. Lara Green played a sparkling-clean game up front with some key blocks and Ana Smith played a solid, all-around game.
VMS posted a convincing, 25-15 win in Game 3 to put themselves back on track.
Game 4 was tight down to the wire.
Throughout the game, Saints’ Megan Barry showcased an eye and coordination to find open spaces in the Gore-Ranger defense.
But, VMS held on for a 25-22 win.
The sideouts went back-and-forth for the majority of Game 5.
The Saints took an 8-6 lead, but Brinkmann tied the game up at nine moments later with a clutch kill.
Vail Christian’s Lauren Mutter pulled an impressive point off an errant bump to tie the game at 10.
But, Wright took the 14th point with a soft kill, and Apple hit the next point just out of Glandorf’s reach to win the game 15-12, and the match.
“We played so well as a team,” said Brinkmann. “At first, we didn’t really click, but toward the end we played much better. It felt really good to beat them (Vail Christian) because they’ve improved so much.”
The Gore Rangers host Christian Fellowship Friday at 6 p.m.
“The girls held back in the last two games,” said Alexander. “We learned some lessons, and, if they come out to play like they did tonight, we will win.”
The Saints host Crested Butte Saturday at 10:30 a.m.
Andrew Harley can be contacted at (970) 949-0555 ext. 608 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.