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Club teams open season

Aspen Times Staff Report

The Aspen Junior Volleyball Club’s three high school-age teams kicked off the 2000 regular season at the recent Rocky Mountain USA Volleyball Power League event in Colorado Springs.

As many as 220 teams from throughout a region that includes Colorado, Wyoming, western Kansas, western Nebraska and western Oklahoma were on hand for the pool-play tournament.

The 17-under, 16-under and 14-under girls all had to play up in age because of the birthdays of one girl per team, leaving Aspen with relatively inexperienced girls on the floor. For instance, the oldest team, the 17s, had only one senior and one junior on the team along with six sophomores and one freshman.

This youth movement bodes well for the future of the team, but it didn’t help the Aspen girls much in the meantime. Playing in the same side of the draw as the No. 1-ranked team in the region, Norco Black from Fort Collins, the Aspen 17s went 0-4.

“It was a bit of a rude awakening,” said Leon Fell, the director of Aspen Junior Volleyball.

The Aspen 16s finished third in their pool on the day by compiling a 1-3 record, and the Aspen 14s had the best showing of all, finishing 2-2 despite having two of the region’s top 10 teams in their pool.

It’s hard going for Aspen, said Fell, because “the majority of the teams on the Eastern Slope are all-star teams. Aspen has a lot of respect because it’s mostly just Aspen kids.”

For younger girls, said Fell, the club’s youth program for grades 7-8 will start with a practice Tuesday at Aspen Middle School at 3:30 p.m. There will be a parents’ meeting immediately following at 5:30.


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