Basalt High volleyball lights it up in Aspen | AspenTimes.com

Basalt High volleyball lights it up in Aspen

Steve Benson
Aspen Times Staff Writer

When the lights went out in the AHS gym Friday night, so did the Aspen volleyball team’s chances of beating Basalt.

Of course, this was the second incident of the night involving the lighting in the gym, and it seemed as though both – the illumination and the AHS volleyball team – were doomed from the beginning.

Trailing Basalt two games to one in the best-of-five match, Aspen was ahead 20-19 in the fourth game when the timer-controlled lights turned off at 8 p.m. sharp. (Apparently, someone forgot to reset the gym clock for volleyball season.)

When the lights came back on 20 minutes later, Basalt rallied, winning five of the next seven points, to claim the fourth game and the match, 3-1.

“They were with us there, we just kind of pulled away,” said Basalt coach Billy Miller.

“There was a lot of strange stuff happening,” Miller said.

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Earlier in warm-ups, a ball became lodged in one of the lights in the rafters. Nobody was too concerned, until the ball started to burn.

Enter Matt Bergdahl, the Aspen High head coach: Bergdahl climbed on one of the basketball backboards and rode it up to save the ball, and maybe the gym, from a fiery fate.

“It was fairly comical,” Bergdahl said. “But it didn’t help us in the end, we still

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lost the match.”

The win was Basalt’s fifth, but a loss to Cedaredge Saturday night put them at 5-3. The Skiers are 3-5.

“We’re young and inexperienced,” said Bergdahl. “We’re definitely an undersized team.”

But what the AHS volleyball team lacks in height, they make up for in senior leadership. Lindsay Patterson, Katy Cadger, Jenna Collin and Alex Leddy are the four seniors on the Skiers squad.

“They’re the backbone of the team in terms of ball control, but they aren’t the biggest bunch on the court,” Bergdahl said.

Said Miller of the competition: “Lindsay [Patterson] has a lot of experience and Katy [Cadger] is a really, really strong setter.”

Aspen was also without junior Liz Floyd, the strength of the middle attack, who has an ankle injury.

While the Lady Longhorns boast a strong group of juniors and seniors, Miller has a freshman phenom in Bailey Holmes. With her Southern California roots and extensive club play, Holmes is “solid all the way through,” Miller said.

“She’s been hitting phenomenally, her passing and serving has been incredible,” Miller said. “She’s definitely going to be someone to watch, she’s really hitting mistake free with a lot of kills.”

Basalt hosts Plateau Valley Tuesday at 6 p.m., while Aspen will be off until Saturday due to the experiential education week, during which time students will be scattered around the country and involved in a variety of educational programs.

“Ex Ed,” which has been a part of the AHS program for years, traditionally occurs before Labor Day. This year, it lands smack-dab in the middle of the fall sports season.

“The experiential week will definitely set us back a little bit,” Bergdahl said. “I think all the coaches feel the same way. It’s just unfortunate.”

While Bergdahl is afraid the week may set his players off course a little, he’s confident in their potential.

“We’ve got a great team with a great attitude, a bunch of hard workers,” he said. “I don’t have any doubt it will come together by district playoffs.”

AHS will host Cedaredge next on Saturday at 5 p.m.

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