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VMS volleyball pounds to win

EAST VAIL – There was a lot of pounding – on and off the court – Friday evening at the Vail Mountain School.

The Gore Rangers and Christian Fellowship pounded each other on the court, while the VMS Percussion Band pounded away on the east side of the gym.

In the end, VMS outlasted the band in three games and the visiting Conquerors in five (25-20, 17-2, 25-19, 25-27, 15-11) to up its record to 3-4 in 2003.

“It was a huge win for us. We played a big game all-around,” said sophomore Cely Brinkmann, who had a sensational game herself.

Though there were plenty of smiles at the end, it took several heart palpitations to get there. The Gore Rangers found themselves down, 6-1, in the fifth game when – in a stunning development – VMS coach Mike Garvey called a timeout.

To put this in perspective, Garvey calls timeouts about as often as Ariel Sharon sends flowers to Yasir Arafat.

“I let them know that the mistakes they were making were skill errors and, when you make skill errors you just have to keep playing,” Garvey said. “They knew that and knew that there was nothing big that they needed to do. Mistakes happen. How you respond to mistakes is what makes you a player.”

Well, they’ve got players in East Vail because the Gore Rangers responded. Lyndsay Wright started the rally with kill that was set up by a great, hustle play by Lauren Utzig. Wright served off two points, including an ace and a smashing block from Aubrie Apple to close to 6-4.

Katie Wear moved VMS closer with a crafty free ball, which dropped in the Christian Fellowship end. With Lara Green serving, Brinkman tipped it down and the two teams were tied at eight.

With excellent serving from Apple, kills by Brinkman and Wright gave VMS the lead for good at 12-9.

“We all interact so well,” Wright said. “We have so much chemistry with each other that it all works on the court. It was great. We know what’s going on. Lara sets us up. We get the pass and we’ve got to put it down.”

With Brinkmann behind the line, VMS put down the Conquerors for good. Kills from Wear and Green did the trick.

Not only did VMS get the win, but Garvey used the nonconference game to tinker with the lineup.

“I couldn’t be more pleased with everyone who played tonight,” Garvey said. “We had a completely different Game 2 and Game 4 lineup. Lauren Biegler, Ana Smith and Zoie (Liotta) came and got some good playing time and played very well. I was very pleased with their play. I can’t say enough about everybody.”

And you can’t say enough about the band, the spectacular six of Max Avery, Tyler Kjesbo, Richard Delude, Alex Biegler, Sebastian Faessler and Casey Kleisinger on the skins. And, their efforts were appreciated by the team.

“I think it’s phenomenal. I think it adds a great environment. I know they’ll learn when to play and when not to play,” Garvey said with a laugh. “That’s all part of it. That’s what the experience is all about. But, they want to support us. They want to make it an exciting environment. That’s a contribution and that’s what fans are all about.”

There will be plenty more hollering and pounding today at Homecoming. The festivities start with a ribbon cutting at 11:15 a.m., formally opening The Bob, the school’s new soccer field. VMS soccer kicks off against St. Mary’s at 11:30 a.m. VMS volleyball plays Crested Butte at 2:30 p.m.

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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