AHS volleyball team finally comes home | AspenTimes.com

AHS volleyball team finally comes home

Todd Hartley

Saturday’s homecoming will be just that for the road warriors of the Aspen High School volleyball team.

The Aspen girls will be playing just their second home contest of the season Saturday evening after six straight road games.

But first, the team will have to endure yet another away affair when they play this afternoon in Hotchkiss.

“They’re a little tired of all the bus rides,” said coach Matt Bergdahl of his players. “But we’re off to a good start, and the girls are playing pretty well.”

Heading into today’s game, the AHS varsity squad has played their way to a 7-4 overall record (2-1 in the class 3A Western Slope Conference).

The Lady Skiers opened the season at the Grand Valley Tournament, where they finished a respectable third. The team cruised through their first few games, but then seemed to tire just a bit as the tournament wore on. The fact that most of the girls on the team had just finished a week of experiential education, which takes students on various adventure trips throughout the state, contributed to the team’s fatigue, according to Bergdahl.

After the tournament, the Lady Skiers returned to town for their sole home contest thus far and upset Steamboat Springs, a class 4A playoff team from a year ago, in a taut three-game match.

The grueling road trip began with a relatively easy two-game victory at Roaring Fork High School in Carbondale before the Bears of Rifle, another 4A school, saddled Aspen with a tough three-game setback. The Lady Skiers won the first game and were tied 9-9 in the second when they lost opposite-side hitter Jill Evans to a twisted knee.

“We just didn’t rebound after Jill went down,” said Bergdahl.

A two-game match win at Rangely was followed by a loss at Olathe, the only undefeated team in the conference, and then the Lady Skiers traveled to West Grand for a match last Saturday and beat the Mustangs, “pretty handily” in two games, said Bergdahl.

In today’s match at Hotchkiss, Aspen will be taking on a team that boasts a 4-1 league mark.

“We’re not sure what we’re up against,” said Bergdahl, but Evans will be back for the match, and that “should make us stronger,” he said.

Saturday’s contest, on the other hand, will be against a known quantity, the 3-3 Cedaredge Bruins. Aspen took on Cedaredge at a team camp this summer at Colorado State University and came away with a win.

“I expect we shouldn’t have too much trouble,” said Bergdahl, “but you never know. There are so many distractions at homecoming, you don’t know what to expect from the girls.”

The Lady Skiers will square off against the Bruins in matches at 3:30, 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. at Aspen High School, with the varsity match set for 5:30 and the freshman and JV matches coming beforehand.


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