Familiar faces victorious at MotherLode Volleyball Classic in Aspen | AspenTimes.com

Familiar faces victorious at MotherLode Volleyball Classic in Aspen

Karl Herchenroeder
The Aspen Times

It was more of the same at this year's MotherLode Volleyball Classic.

For the second year in a row, Tim and Brian Bomgren, of Woodbury, Minn., took home the men's open division title.

In Game 1, they grabbed their first lead at 17-16. A big block from Tim made it 19-17, and the Bomgrens cruised to a 21-19 Game 1 victory over John Moran, of Redondo Beach, Calif., and Adam Cabbage, of Hermosa Beach, Calif.

Two more blocks from Tim for points 18 and 19 in Game 2, and the Bomgrens began to pull away. Leading 19-15, their 20th point came when Cabbage failed to deliver a serve.

Cabbage earned his team one final point with a hard swing before surrendering to the Bomgrens, 21-16.

"We went after Moran originally, and then he was siding up pretty well, so we had to change the strategy a little bit," Tim said, adding that they got a few points off of Cabbage to win Game 1 and then earned a few more in Game 2 to pull away.

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Traci Walsh and Angela Peterson, of Salt Lake City, both played in the women's open division last year but with different partners. This year, they teamed up to win the women's final in a two-game set.

Game 1 was a contentious battle that ended on the 25th point (25-23). In Game 2, two powerful cross-court swings from Peterson sealed their victory over Mallory Deneen and Anna Lehne, both of Aurora.

"That just came out of my butt," Peterson said with a laugh, pointing out that both of those shots were the opposite of what Walsh had called. "Whatever the ball gave me, I just went with it."

Walsh said they will be back in Aspen in 2014 to defend their title.

"It just kind of worked," Walsh said. "And now I think we're together for life."

Walsh said the MotherLode has a special atmosphere because of "how close everyone is and how involved everyone is." She's met a lot of friends through the tournament — women from Texas, Illinois and California.

"This is the one spot where we all get to see each other again once a year," Peterson said.

Brian Bomgren said the MotherLode is "really the way volleyball is supposed to be played." For much of the day, dogs and children circled the championship courts.

"To win it twice in a row — and the fans out here are awesome — it means the world to us," Tim said.

By 6:30 p.m., all equipment for the MotherLode had been removed from Koch Lumber Park.

"We'll wake up tomorrow morning, come out here and say, 'Did that really happen?'" said Leon Fell, producer of the MotherLode since 1981.

This year, Fell was left scrambling for sponsorship when one of the tournament's major contributors backed out, creating a $35,000 budget shortfall. Fell was able to round up a local sponsor for $25,000, but his request for $10,000 from the city was denied. The year before, the City Council granted Fell $25,000 for the event.

Fell plans on approaching the city again. This time, he said, it won't be last-minute.

herk@aspentimes.com

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