Ailing Roaring Fork volleyball team rolls in Aspen
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
ASPEN – Roaring Fork head volleyball coach Carrie Schultz said her ailing team was “a little quiet and a little slow” in Thursday’s match in Aspen.
The Rams, who have multiple players battling flu-like symptoms, made one very loud statement on the scoreboard, however. Roaring Fork shook off a lackluster start to outscore the winless Skiers, 50-25, in Games 1 and 2. With all but two of their starters lounging on the bench in Game 3, the Rams cruised to an eight-point win and 25-13, 25-12, 25-17 match sweep.
With the victory, Roaring Fork improved to 9-0 overall and 7-0 in the 3A Western Slope.
“[That rest in] the third game was much needed,” said Landon Garvik, one of the Rams players hit hard by illness. “It was a tough match, but we did all right. None of us were feeling well. Our goal was just to get this one done.”
Roaring Fork, which hosts Olathe tonight then gets the rest of the weekend off, played with that urgency. After squandering a few scoring chances with unforced errors in the opening minutes of the first game, the Rams strung together six straight points to take a 10-3 lead. During that stretch, Garvik pitched in with two aces and Taylor Adams split the court with a strong kill.
The Skiers (0-9 overall, 0-6 conference) answered with three straight points – a kill from Shannon Peirce, a well-timed block from Peirce and Mary Beasley, then a serve from Mimi Rogers that clipped the net and fell in. They were victimized by inconsistent play down the stretch, however, and were outscored 15-7 the rest of the way.
Garvik flexed her muscle at the net in Game 2, piling up three kills in the early going to give her team a 6-2 advantage and force an Aspen timeout. When the Skiers pulled to within one at 8-7, Roaring Fork looked to Garvik once more. The junior produced another kill, sparking a 5-1 run.
“We knew they were going to be tough serving and ferocious on the attack,” Aspen head coach Clay Dahlman said. “We did a valiant job of trying to slow their offensive attack. … Our block was pretty strong, but we couldn’t quite get the freight train rolling with our offense.”
The Skiers hung tough in the third game, but surrendered a 7-0 run – four points came on Aspen errors – that broke things wide open.
“Every game is so important in this league,” Schultz said. “If you don’t show up, on any given day you don’t know what can happen.
“I was very pleased [with the effort]. The reserves came in and didn’t miss a beat.”
While the Rams continue to roll, Aspen is searching for answers. Thursday’s loss begins a tough stretch in which it plays three matches in three days. Next up is tonight’s home tussle with rival Basalt at 7 p.m.
“We figured if we came to play with our best volleyball tonight, perhaps we could’ve upset the league giant,” Dahlman said. “This weekend is about Basalt – I feel like that’s the one [the girls] want. … It’s not like we didn’t fight tonight. We did the best we could against a tough team.”
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