Aspen junior teams net multiple titles at volleyball festival
It was a banner weekend to wrap up the season for the members of the Aspen Junior Volleyball Club last weekend on the Front Range as all three club teams took part in the Rocky Mountain Region-USA Volleyball Junior Regional Championships with the Aspen 16s and 17s each winning their respective divisions and the Aspen 15s finishing second.
Because of recent forfeitures brought on by spring break, all three Aspen teams wound up seeded in lower divisions than the positions that they were in prior to the 2000 ASICS Colorado Crossroads Junior National Qualifier, meaning none of the teams had an easy go of it.
The Aspen 15s, playing at Regis University in Denver, had a tough time in the RMR Division IV 15-under championships as they finished second behind to the Mile High Volleyball Club.
The Aspen 15s, who are all eighth-graders at Aspen Middle School, to that point had quite a run through the Power League season, having won two divisional titles prior to the regional championships.
Playing at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS), the Aspen 16s played some of their most inspired volleyball of the season. Without three of their regular starters, the team used a combination of spirit, determination and consistent play to best South Area Volleyball Club of Littleton in a five-game championship match to win the RMR Division V 16-under championship.
Despite playing good all-around volleyball and some of the most consistent offense of the year at Coronado High School in Colorado Springs, the Aspen 17s ran into a sleeper called Crested Butte Volleyball Club. That team joined the Rocky Mountain Region late in the season, so very few people knew much about them.
After easily defeating both the Golden and Lyons volleyball clubs, the Aspen girls had all they could handle from the Crested Butte team as they lost their final match of pool play in three games.
However, the Aspen 17s had a chance at revenge as they met Crested Butte again in the finals of the RMR Division IV 17-under championships. In the one-game final, the Aspen squad was down 9-11 before dialing up their level of play behind the inspired efforts of Haillee Walker and Jessica Samborski.
With Walker serving and Samborski making an incredible defensive play at the end of their run, the Aspen team rebounded to take the lead at 13-12.
Brilliant serving by senior Alison Ortmann finished out the match 15-12.
It was a great way to end the season, giving the young Aspen athletes confidence for next year’s competitions and putting smiles on their faces.
In other local volleyball news, Aspen athletes Jessie Young and Lacee Patterson, playing for the Avalanche Volleyball Club’s 16-under team, finished second in their “pool” as the Vail-based team for third in its division.
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