Aspen Motherlode tourney gets serious in Sunday sand |

Aspen Motherlode tourney gets serious in Sunday sand

Dale Strode
The Aspen Times
Tim Wooliver of Austin, Texas, hit sagainst Rob Bailey of Denver in the 2014 Motherlode Volleyball Classic.
BobBlackburn Photography/Special to The Aspen Times |

The Motherlode Volleyball Classic gets serious today.

Not that there hasn’t been some serious volleyball played in Aspen all week.

But Sunday in the sand is always a special chapter in the Aspen volleyball Labor Day festival that is marking is 43rd year in 2014.

Sunday on the grass courts also is a weekend tradition in the tradition-rich volleyball tournament, which started as a backyard barbecue with volleyball — back when the MotherLode was an epic downtown Aspen restaurant.

The Sunday schedule for the Motherlode Volleyball Classic includes play in the Men’s and Women’s Open divisions on the sand courts at Willoughby Park and Koch Lumber Park.

“Sunday afternoon is when all the top seeds come up against each other,” said longtime Motherlode director Leon Fell. “Then, on Monday morning, there are the do-or-die matches between the seeded players who lost on Sunday.”

That will make for ultra-competitve volleyball over the next two days, Fell said.

Also today, matches will be played in A, BB and B divisions.

Matches are set for the Rio Grande property, Lower Moore Fields by Aspen High School and Rotary Park.

Today’s matches will set the stage for the championship Monday matches.

“Sunday and Monday morning are the build-up right to the finals on Monday afternoon,” Fell said after the players enjoyed mostly sunny and warm conditions Saturday after battling showers earlier in the week.

On Monday, elimination rounds in the Men’s and Women’s Open divisions will be played in the morning in the sand at Koch Lumber Park and Willoughby Park.

Divisional finals, held on the Koch Lumber grass court, will be held Monday in Men’s and Women’s A, BB and B divisions, beginning at 9 a.m.

The featured Women’s and Men’s Open finals will be played Monday afternoon on center court at Koch Lumber Park with the women set to start at 4 p.m.

The men’s final is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. — subject to weather, of course.

On Saturday, the finals of the Motherlode Masters Men’s 37s was played along with scores of matches in B, BB, A, Men’s Open and Women’s Open.

David Smith of Lakewood and John Moran of Redondo Beach, California, teamed up to take first place in the Motherlode Master Men’s 37s.

Also on Saturday, Carrie Wright of Westlake Village, California, teamed with partner Drew Punjavi of Kansas City, Kansas, to win the highly competitve Coed Open finals at Motherlode 2014.

They defeated Lauren Dickson and Jeff Samuels in the championship finals at Koch Lumber Park.

Dickson is from Austin, Texas.

Samuels hails from Michigan.

Fell said a large crowd turned out for the sunny Saturday matches, particular at the featured courts at Koch Lumber Park.