Garvik, high-powered Roaring Fork blank Basalt | AspenTimes.com

Garvik, high-powered Roaring Fork blank Basalt

Jon MaletzThe Aspen TimesAspen, CO Colorado

Jim Ryan Special to The Aspen TimesThe Longhorns' Stephanie Alvarado attempts a kill as Roaring Fork's Megan Gianinetti defends and Landon Garvik follows the action Thursday at Basalt High School.

BASALT – As Roaring Fork’s Landon Garvik headed toward the net in the second game of Thursday’s volleyball season opener in Basalt, a Longhorns fan shouted, “Here it comes.”The Longhorns knew what was coming. They still could not stop it.Garvik, the reigning 3A Western Slope player of the year, was a constant force up front, altering opposing shots and producing six kills in the opening game, three more in the second and 10 total. The 6-foot-1 senior sat out much of the final frame as the Rams rolled to a 25-15, 25-18, 25-16 victory, dispatching the Longhorns in little more than an hour.”As coaches, we always want them to do better,” said Roaring Fork head coach Carrie Schultz, whose squad finished 22-3 a season ago. “We certainly have things to work on … but this is a good start.”The 2009 league champions were efficient, but hardly flawless. During one stretch in the second game, they were outscored, 10-3, by a game but undersized Basalt squad. The Rams regrouped, however, scoring six of the last seven points – a run capped by an ace from Ixchel Muniz that clipped the net and fell untouched to the hardwood.Early on, it appeared as though the Longhorns were going to give the favored Rams a stiff test. Basalt matched Roaring Fork point for point before Savanna Phibbs converted a kill and a Longhorns player’s attempted dig sailed into the stands, giving the Rams a 9-6, Game 1 advantage.”I think we could’ve stuck with them,” first-year Basalt head coach Mike Whittlef said. “It was just the little things. Our serves weren’t going in. Our passes need to get much better. It’s such a mental game.”Nelly Sanchez came up with a kill to pull the Longhorns to within two at 9-7, but Roaring Fork answered with an 8-1 run to seize control. Garvik led the charge with two emphatic kills during the stretch.Garvik produced two kills in the early stages of Game 2 to give the Rams a five-point cushion – much to the delight of a boisterous student section that made the trip up Highway 82.While they struggled to consistently string together passes to set up their star, the Rams capitalized on scores of Longhorns miscues. Those mistakes – from errant serves to shots that sailed long and wide – cost Basalt a chance to win the game and square the match at 1-1.A slow start in Game 3 all but finished the Longhorns. Garvik was in the middle of the action once more, producing a kill that helped Roaring Fork jump out to a 12-5 advantage. They were not tested from there.”We have to step up our game and be more aggressive,” Whittlef said. “We see what we need to work on. … There’s no need to be down. If the girls play hard and work hard, we’ll come out on top.”Basalt will look to rebound Saturday, when it hosts Gunnison at 3 p.m.jmaletz@aspentimes.com

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