AHS falls to Vail Mtn. in volleyball | AspenTimes.com

AHS falls to Vail Mtn. in volleyball

Jennifer Davoren
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Despite a rocky start to the 2002 season, the Aspen High volleyball team is looking forward to a new year of play ? and, in the next month or so, the debut of a new home court.

The Skiers played their season opener last Thursday at Vail Mountain School. AHS fell to Vail Mountain 15-6, 15-12.

“The other team did what we wanted to do. We wanted to establish our offense right off the bat, and unfortunately, that’s what the other team did,” coach Emily Bakker said.

An early loss might be beneficial, she said, helping the Skiers get over the jitters that come with the start of a new season.

“It’s good for us to get in this competition that’s not really league play at the beginning of the season. Now we can gauge where we’re at and shoot for higher,” she said.

With the loss of some significant starters to graduation, Bakker said last year’s bench has stepped up to take bigger roles. Senior 6-footer Lizzie Suiter, who recently accepted a full volleyball scholarship to Stanford University, will anchor the team’s middle this year. Senior Dana Fleischer, who saw significant court time in last year’s state appearance, also proved herself last week at Vail Mountain, Bakker said.

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“As far as other returners, we have some defensive specialists who hold up the backcourt, like Heather Jordan,” she said. “We’re working with a new setter, [junior] Jacqui Samborski. She just needs that time on the court to feel comfortable.”

AHS will next host Glenwood Springs on Thursday and Grand Valley on Saturday. Bakker reported that early season home games have been moved to Aspen Middle School as AHS finishes construction of its new gymnasium ? a state-of-the-art structure with enough room for six volleyball courts.

The debut of the new court should come in late September, just in time for AHS’ first match against downvalley rival Basalt on Sept. 24.

[Jennifer Davoren’s e-mail address is jenniferd@aspentimes.com]

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