Skiers beat Bruins for home dome win
For the Aspen High School volleyball team, the first trip home after six straight matches on the road was sweet indeed.
Playing in the AHS Skierdome for just the second time this season and the first time since Sept. 7, the Skiers picked up a tough homecoming win Saturday night over Cedaredge in two games, 16-14, 15-8.
The underrated Bruins jumped out early over Aspen behind some strong serving and grabbed a 3-1 lead.
But Aspen’s Lacee Patterson answered right back, winning six points on her serve to help Aspen to a 9-3 advantage. Crisp passing The run by the Skiers featured some crisp passing from Kelli Dangler and nice work along the front line from Julia Suiter, Jill Evans and Elizabeth Oakes.
But Cedaredge ran off eight points, most coming on serves, and took an 11-9 lead. After a sideout, Jasmine Liddington stepped to the service line and rattled off four straight points to put the Skiers back on top 13-11.
After an Aspen timeout, the Bruins came out with a renewed focus and picked up two points after the Skiers were in the net and then couldn’t return a serve.
The game stayed deadlocked at 13 as the two teams traded sideouts, until, finally, Cedaredge picked up a point on another Aspen net violation and put the Bruins in position to win the game.
But an ace from Suiter tied the score 14-14, and then, after Cedaredge served long and gave the ball back to Aspen, a hard serve from Dangler found a hole in the Bruins’ defense for another point and a 15-14 lead for the Skiers.
The team picked up another point on Dangler’s serve to earn a difficult 16-14 win.
In the evening’s second game, Cedaredge once again opened up an early lead, but it was short-lived. Some strong play from Patterson and three points on Lily Melton’s serve tied the game 3-3.
Aspen took the next two points, but Cedaredge hung tough and knotted the score once again at 5-5, and then the flood gates opened. Big blocks Behind three nice blocks from Oakes and some well-placed shots by Dangler, Aspen won six points in a row to open up an 11-5 lead.
Cedaredge would score three more points in the game, but it wasn’t enough as Aspen cruised to a 15-8 win to ice the match.
“They [Bruins] were a little more than I was expecting,” said Matt Bergdahl, Aspen’s head coach. Bergdahl said that his team, caught up a little in the excitement of homecoming, played tight and displayed some early game jitters.
“But we’re good enough that we can rebound well,” he said. Eagle Valley next With the win, and Friday night’s two-game win at Hotchkiss, the Skiers pushed their record to 9-4 overall (4-1 in the 3A Western Slope Conference) and established themselves as one of the top teams in the league.
Up next for Aspen will be a home match against Eagle Valley on Friday starting at 3:30 p.m.
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