Aspen bit by Bulldogs | AspenTimes.com

Aspen bit by Bulldogs

Jon Maletz

Despite getting off to a slow start in Friday’s conference opener with Hotchkiss, the Aspen girls volleyball team found itself in position to make a strong push midway through the fourth game, trailing two games to one.Leading the Bulldogs 18-9 on the strength of a strong service game and some timely play at the net, a fifth and deciding game for Aspen seemed to be all but a lock. The mistakes that plagued the Skiers in games one and two, however, came back to bite them.Hotchkiss (5-2, 2-0) finished out game four with a 16-4 run to win the match 3-1.”We got stuck in a rut and we just couldn’t get ourselves out of it,” Aspen junior Kyla Walter said.The Bulldogs capitalized on countless Aspen miscues to square the match at 18 in the fourth game, then pull away for the win. Of the nine points Hotchkiss scored in succession to tie the score at 18, six came on Skier errors.Kill attempts did not carry the net. Multiple serves were mishandled and communication broke down. After rebounding with a convincing 25-20 win in game three, the mistakes that cost Aspen the match’s first two games resurfaced at the most innopportune of times.”Our passing really broke down and it was hard to get a set,” Skier head coach Sarah Benson said. “We were ready to go, we just had too many mistakes to win.”Aspen was sluggish coming off its long break from action. The skiers were off last week because of experimental education. When Aspen took the court Friday, it had been 13 days since its last match, a win over Hayden, Sept. 3. The Skiers had won their last three matches by a combined score of 9-0 before the break. “The extra week would have done more good if we did practice than if we didn’t,” Walter said. “We just didn’t play our best tonight.” On the strength of four different 4-0 runs, the Bulldogs won game one 25-20. Aspen was more efficient in game two, matching Hotchkiss serve-for-serve. The two teams tied each other six times, the last coming at 18 all. The Bulldogs finished the game on a 6-0 run, capped by senior Silke Watson’s kill. Watson fittingly closed out the match with a convincing spike down the center of the court. Her size and mobility at the net frustrated the Skier defenders the entire match.”Hotchkiss is a great team with a lot of height and it was good for us to play them,” Benson said. “We served the ball well, moved the ball well and our defense got to everything. We’re all learning and making progress.”Update:Skier soccer player Henry Cote was released from the hospital Thursday night and is in good condition after colliding head-on with Colorado Rocky Mountain School’s Chris Sellers during play that afternoon in Carbondale, Aspen athletic director Carol Sams said Friday. Sellers, who reportedly sustained a concussion, was also released Thursday, Sams said.Cote sustained head trauma and seizures, but a CT scan revealed no internal bleeding, Cote’s father, Bo, said in a phone interview friday. “His brain short-circuited and just went haywire,” said Bo, a former emergency medical technician. “Yesterday was kind of weird. You never go to a game expecting something like that to happen, especially to your own son. The community’s response to Henry’s well-being was overwhelming.” Bo, alongside Bill Baker and Cote’s stepfather, Kent Meager, helped perform CPR on Cote, whose heart and breathing reportedly stopped for close to 15 seconds. Cote had movement in his arms and legs and had remembered going up for the ball soon after the incident, Sams said. The senior visited school Friday during lunch, checked in on the Skiers at practice and even attened a dinner with teammates and coaches, Bo said. Pending an appointment with a neurologist, Bo said Cote could be cleared to play as early as next week. “He’s the sweeper and is one of the defensive leaders of the team,” Bo said. “This is his love. This is where he wants to be.”Jon Maletz’s e-mail address is jmaletz@aspentimes.com