AHS volleyball set for tourney | AspenTimes.com

AHS volleyball set for tourney

Tim Mutrie

The Aspen High School girls varsity volleyball team returns to the Class 3A Western Slope League District Tournament this Friday with hopes of advancing to regionals once again.

This past weekend, Aspen (6-4 in league play) finished its regular season with wins Thursday and Saturday over Basalt and Rangely, respectively. On Saturday, the Skier team lost to Carbondale’s Roaring Fork High School (8-2), which finished the season in a three-way tie for first place in the league, along with Olathe and Eagle Valley. Gunnison (7-3 in league) finished fourth in the league.

Aspen, ranked fifth in the league based on the regular season, begins its district tournament play Friday at 11 a.m. versus Olathe at Grand Junction Central High School.

“We’ve got the No. 1 seed right off the bat,” said Aspen coach Matt Bergdahl. “Since we beat Olathe handily during the regular season, if we can get off on the right foot against them, that confidence that will carry through the rest of the tournament will be huge.”

The top eight teams from the Class 3A Western Slope League will compete in the district tournament, with the six lowest-ranked teams in the league competing in district qualifier matches last night. Only the top two teams at districts will advance to the four-team regional tournament, and at regionals, the top two teams move on to the eight-team state tournament, Bergdahl explained.

“Most of the girls feel like they are where they want to be right now,” Bergdahl said, referring to the team’s mental and physical readiness. “We’re more confident, and we do tend to play better against tougher competition.”

“There’s not a lot that separates each of the top teams in the league,” he continued. “We stand as good a chance as anybody – especially since we beat Olathe and we beat Eagle Valley in a non-league match earlier this season. Gunnison and Roaring Fork, we had a good chance of beating them too.”

After Aspen’s opening tourney match against Olathe at 11 a.m. Friday, the Skiers will play two more games for the chance to advance to Saturday’s championship round.

“You’ve got to have a lot of physical endurance to make it through and be strong throughout the tournament,” Bergdahl said. “We’re hoping our conditioning all season long will take us through.”

“Right now our main focus is working on our confidence, and I think consistency will come out of that and just playing as a team,” he continued. “We’re young and our confidence can drop at times – because they get unsure of themselves. It’s just a matter of staying up; we’re real good when we’re up.”

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Posted:Wednesday, October 25, 2000

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