Aspen girls lead in Nebraska
Kyla Walter and Paige Cottrell played key roles for the Front Range Volleyball Club Mountain Division 17s at the Alegent Health 2006 Omaha Presidents’ Day Classic.
And, after months of practice, the two Aspen High School standouts have made considerable strides in what is arguably one the best junior volleyball programs in the country.
Both Front Range Volleyball Club Mountain Division teams were amongst the tournament’s 312-team field. The tournament is a tuneup for the national qualifier season.
The three-day tournament format duplicates the competition schedule for the nine different 2006 Junior Olympic National Qualifying events throughout the United States later this year. Both Mountain Division teams had mixed results against their toughest competition thus far this year.
The FRVBC Mountain Division 17s, who had been struggling in the Rocky Mountain Region Power League, dropped all three of their matches in the first day of competition.
However, the young 17s team, featuring the middle-hitting of Walter and the strong defensive play of Cottrell, found its stride on the second day. The team won two of its three matches to capture first place in its pool and qualify for the 17 Club-Flight 1 championship playoffs. The team eventually fell to Club West 17 Gold team in the first round Monday.
The Mountain Division 17s tied for 29th place out of 48 teams in the division.
Walter and Cottrell practice with the Mountain Division for three hours three times a week, and compete at various national tournaments and junior national qualifiers on weekends throughout the season.
This year, the Front Range VBC has more former players on college varsity rosters than any other club in the country. The club has also won five age group national championships.
David Stapleton is the development officer for the Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club. A product of the club, AVSC sat down with Stapleton for a Q&A session in this week’s Clubhouse Chronicles.