Volleyball shines at Aspen Homecoming | AspenTimes.com
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Volleyball shines at Aspen Homecoming

Tim Mutrie

The Aspen High School girls volleyball team salvaged the school’s homecoming festivities Saturday with a decisive victory over perennial league powerhouse Olathe.

After the Aspen soccer and football teams lost their homecoming games earlier in the day, the volleyball team shouldered the school’s pride and beat a seasoned Olathe team (11-3 overall) in two games.

The Aspen volleyball team, 10-3 overall, dazzled a sizable homecoming crowd with flashy kills, blocks and digs in the team’s first home game at the Aspen Skier Dome in nearly a month.

Trailing 5-9 in the first match, the Aspen team reversed the momentum of the game when junior Lacee Patterson struck a blazing kill shot that grazed the end line for a sideout.

On the next point, senior Ali Crum blocked an Olathe return and ignited a rally to put Aspen up 10-9, with help from the team’s only sophomore, Lizzie Suiter.

Suiter made several blocks and kills throughout the match.

Olathe fought back and won back the serve, but Aspen earned another sideout off an unforced error. Still at 10-9 with Crum serving, Aspen junior Hailee Walker blocked an Olathe kill attempt and then struck a kill shot of her own on the very next return to put Aspen up 11-9.

A Jasmine Liddington kill put Aspen up 14-9 after two Olathe unforced errors. And after a sideout, Liddington, a senior, sealed the first game of the match with another kill.

In the second match, Aspen executed what coach Danny Patterson called “sideout ball,” making quick work of Olathe 15-1 to win the match. Junior Zara Podolak factored into the winning Aspen equation in the second match, adding several key blocks to the cause.

“We knew that if we played our game, we’d have a good chance of beating them,” said Patterson, who filled in for coach Matt Bergdahl Saturday.

“We’ve had big leads before and we’ve lost them,” Patterson continued. “But [Saturday night], we played sideout ball and didn’t let them score. It was an all-around effort; we didn’t give any points to them.”

The Aspen freshman and sophomore volleyball team won its first game of the season with a victory Olathe before the varsity game Saturday. The Aspen JV team lost a close match 16-14 in the third game. Soccer loses close match to Vail Mountain School While several Aspen players in street clothes watched from the sidelines, the Aspen High boys varsity soccer team lost a close match to the Vail Mountain School Saturday.

With only one substitute available on the Aspen bench – the result of five ejections last week in a winning effort against Eagle Valley – the Vail Mountain School played a tough, physical brand of soccer and beat Aspen 3-2.

Vail’s Wade Cheathan scored in the 10th minute, blasting a worm-burner shot off the glove of Aspen goalie Patrick Sewell for the first goal of the game.

Aspen evened the score at one apiece off a corner kick play in the 20th minute. Aspen forward Jeff Flack centered the ball over the outstretched hands of Vail goalie Tyler Croke. Aspen senior Carter Hansen came away with a clear shot and found the back of the net.

Sewell, a senior, notched several saves to keep the score tied through the first half, including one blast in the 32 minute that he managed to deflect over the crossbar with one outstretched hand.

Aspen striker Phil Salazar and the brothers Hansen – Carter and Reid, a sophomore – missed several scoring opportunities in the second half.

Vail scored in the 72nd minute – off a flurry in front of the net that Flack nearly saved – to take a 2-1 lead. A few moments later, Vail added another goal after Sewell challenged Slade Cogwell on a 50-50 ball in front of the goalie box and paid the price.

Aspen fought back to 3-2 with only a few minutes remaining when Carter Hansen scored his second goal of the game off an assist from fellow captain Duncan Delano on a set piece.

“On any given day we could beat them,” said Aspen coach Grant “Junior” Sutherland after the match Saturday. “It’s just a shame we lost at homecoming.”

“When you make stupid mistakes,” he continued, referring to last week’s ejections, “you pay for them. We paid today.” Aspen football falls to Moffat County After the Aspen High football team lost a hard-hitting game to Moffat County Saturday, head coach Tom Goode said his players now understand the value of off-season weight training and conditioning.

“Moffat County plays a serious level of football,” the coach said after the game. “It’s good for our kids to experience that. … They’re not wondering anymore about why guys lift weights. They know, they felt it.”

Despite the 37-7 loss to Moffat County, Goode said he felt Aspen (1-3) played its best game yet.

“We were in the football game and, once again, we learned something,” Goode said.

Moffat punched in their first touchdown of the game on the opening drive and held Aspen’s offense in check for much of the game. Moffat added a second touchdown – and another two-point conversion – early in the second quarter and another TD before the half to go up 24-0.

Aspen’s Chris Luu gave the home crowd approaching 400 people something to cheer about to just before halftime. Luu received the Moffat kickoff and rambled some 60-yards before being taken down at the Moffat 25 yard line.

On the ensuing possession, Aspen quarterback Shay Stutsman hooked up with running back Josh Lackey for a 23-yard touchdown pass with 1:46 remaining in the half. Lineman and kicker Trevor Clapper added the extra point to reduce the deficit to 24-7 at the half.

“I’m happy with our offense and defense,” coach Goode said. “We’re still learning the game of football, obviously. But our guys definitely had fun [Saturday], and it’s fun to see such a big crowd come out to support us.” Aspen’s Otte takes third at Chris Severy Invitational Aspen High School cross country runner Michael Otte ran to an impressive third-place finish in the boys varsity race at the Chris Severy Invitational Saturday in Aspen.

Otte, a senior, covered the 5K course near the Aspen High School in 18 minutes, 48 seconds, just six seconds behind winner Perry Baker of Middle Park and one second behind Chaz Salmen of Glenwood Springs.

“He had an incredible race – a breakthrough race,” said Aspen coach Chris Keleher. “I had no idea he had it in him. He’s always a consistent performer, but he continues to surprise me.”

More than 100 runners from nearly 20 high schools across the state participated in the meet. With Otte’s third place finish, the Aspen boys varsity cross country team took sixth place among 19 boys teams. Aspen’s Conor Flynn took 25th, followed by Franko Peters (37), Jeff Anderson (52), Nick Cortez (88), Sean Braisted (99) and Weston Paas (107).

The Aspen girls varsity team took fifth place out of 18 teams that competed in the meet. Jenny Hamilton was Aspen’s top finisher at 21st, followed by Dylan Braun (32), Korry Johnson (34), Besha Deane (44), Heidi Hauenstein (57) and Erin Kiernan (76).

“Dylan Braun ran really well for us,” Keleher said. “She was 32nd, and she’s just a freshman.”

“I was very pleased,” Keleher said of the whole meet. “I thought we ran well.”

A trio of Aspen Middle School girls swept the field in the 3K girls junior race. Laura Hatanaka finished the course in 11:32, followed by Jessica Andrews and Kaylee Maycranz.

“They had an amazing race,” Keleher said. “They ran really well.”


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