Aspen volleyball beats Moffat to close out regular season; regionals are next
From 2009 through 2015, the Aspen High School volleyball team had never won more than eight games in a season. But the Skiers have now reached double-digit wins each of the past three seasons, including this year’s 17-win campaign.
It’s something this year’s group of seven seniors can take a lot of pride in.
“We are really proud of what we have accomplished,” AHS senior Gaia Murphy said. “We have won a lot of really good games. We have lost a lot of really good games and I think we have learned a lot from this season. I don’t think it’s hit any of the seniors yet that this was our last home game.”
That 17th win came Saturday in a home sweep of visiting Moffat County in the regular-season finale. The Skiers were hot from the start, leading the first set 7-0 en route to a 25-10 first-set win. They won the second set 25-8 before backing off a bit in the third set, a 25-19 win.
Moffat County’s season is likely over with a 5-15 overall record.
“It’s hard to keep the pace they can play up when you are playing a team that might have a little bit of a slower pace going,” AHS coach Bailey Holmes said. “I think that ended up catching up with them in the third game. But they came out and kept their energy high those first two.”
Aspen wrapped up the regular season 17-6 overall and 7-2 in Class 3A Western Slope League play, where it finishes third behind league champion Coal Ridge and runner-up Cedaredge.
“It feels really good because we’ve been working hard and we wanted a great season,” AHS senior Jasmin Hanson said. “It feels really good to take the win on our last home game and have people here like our friends and family see it.”
Now, the Skiers will head back to the regional tournament for the second consecutive year. Aspen had an RPI of 18 as of 5:15 p.m. Saturday, meaning they would play on the road next week. The regional brackets will be announced Monday.
“I am feeling super confident,” Holmes said. “I’ve been thinking about it and I think we are sitting at a very good spot right now to get us a good seeding.”
Last season, a short-handed Aspen team went 0-2 in regionals, losing 3-1 to both Faith Christian and Rye. Confidence is much higher this time around.
“I am so excited,” Hanson said. “I think we are going to play harder. Last year we didn’t have our full squad, but this year everyone is going to be there and I think we will do pretty well.”
Let’s make some skiing predictions. I made my X Games snowboarding predictions a day earlier and remain only mildly lukewarm in terms of confidence, but maybe I’ll feel better about the skiers.