Aspen steals one from mighty Summit
Aspen Times Staff Writer
Though the Aspen High School volleyball team split a pair of matches over the weekend, the Skiers are celebrating both the win and loss as tournament time approaches.
The Skiers’ weekend on the road began Friday night in Carbondale as AHS was forced into three matches by Roaring Fork. Aspen lost their first game 11-15, but recovered for 15-13 and 15-10 victories to take the match.
Though Roaring Fork’s record has suffered due to recent losses, AHS coach Emily Bakker said the Carbondale squad has turned their performance around.
“They’re a strong team,” Bakker said. “Their performance really didn’t fit with their record.”
Aspen’s statistical leaders on Friday included senior Dana Fleischer with 14 kills and seven digs; senior Lizzie Suiter with seven kills, five aces and three solo blocks; Lindsay Patterson with nine kills and four aces; Tanya Helmus with three solo blocks; Alex Leddy with seven digs; and Katy Cadger with 39 assists.
Bakker wasn’t able to provide stats for the Skier’s Saturday afternoon match vs. Summit, but the coach was happy to report the final result. AHS took the bigger squad to three matches, dropping the first and third games ? but overall the loss was a small victory for Aspen, Bakker said.
“They’re a 4A team ranked fifth in the state, and we gave them their first loss of the year,” she said. “We’re the first team to ever take them to three games. I think it definitely gave us some respect in the rankings.”
Aspen faced Summit only once before this season, during an especially long tournament match that helped Summit “pretty much dominate,” Bakker said. Facing Summit again and dealing them their first match loss of the season was a needed confidence booster.
“The kids walked away from that loss feeling like they came so far,” Bakker said. “Now they’re able to see what they’re capable of.”
AHS, now 5-1 in Class 3A Western Slope League play, hosts Cedaredge on Tuesday in what is, unfortunately, a nonleague game, Bakker said. Aspen, Cedaredge and Eagle Valley are currently tied for first place in the league and the Skiers had hoped an extra win would put them over the top, Bakker said.
Tuesday’s match starts at 6 p.m., preceded by JV and freshman contests.
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Aspen High School girls soccer coach Chris Ellis could have told you the team would be facing a strong opponent in the first round of the state playoffs well before the bracket was released on Sunday. With only a 16-team field this spring, any squad that found itself among those few had to be solid.