Aspen volleyball blanks Basalt in opener
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
BASALT – As a Basalt volleyball player’s serve sailed long and out of play Thursday, Aspen’s Bailey Everhart turned and attempted to avoid the ball; it wound up drilling her square in the back, a sequence that drew a wry smile from the senior and mock cheers from a raucous Longhorns cheering section.
Everhart quieted the home crowd soon after. She served up five aces and produced 10 kills – including three in a row following her slight gaffe that helped the Skiers seal Game 1 – and Aspen exploited its size and strength on the front line to pull out a sloppy 25-21, 25-20, 25-19, season-opening victory over its downvalley rivals.
“We loved the big crowd. I think it really drove us, and they were energized by it,” Skiers head coach Clay Dahlman said. “The girls love coming down here and playing. They showed a lot of poise tonight.”
Aspen erased sizable deficits in Games 1 and 2. Trailing 10-5 in the opener, the Skiers capitalized on five consecutive Basalt miscues – two errant serves and a dig that drilled the ceiling, among others – to square things at 11.
The two sides exchanged points for a stretch before Everhart and Aspen’s front line took control. The Skiers closed with a 6-3 run and clinched Game 1 after a Longhorns serve sailed well long.
Lindsay Corzine produced a kill and a block, then Ana Morales came up with consecutive aces in Game 2, helping Basalt amass an early 14-7 lead. Aspen pulled to within five at 19-14, then reeled off six consecutive points.
“We had seven missed serves and seven [hitting errors] in Game 2. … You can’t do that,” Dahlman said. “If we eliminate those errors we can be tough and play at a higher level. It’s early in the season.”
Shannon Turbidy, Maggie Ryan and Nevada Crandall produced kills down the stretch, sparking a 5-0 run that helped Aspen close out the game and take command of the match.
“We’re a young team … and we’re still working out all the kinks,” Longhorns head coach Mike Whittlef said. “We need to grow a little bit, but they have heart. I know that.”
While Basalt showcased good energy, they were done in by a slew of unforced and untimely mistakes. After battling back to square things at six in the third game, the Longhorns first hit a serve, then a dig into the net, sparking a 4-0 Skiers run. Aspen later jumped out to a 19-12 lead – more than enough of a cushion to absorb a late Basalt rally – and scored the match’s final five points.
Tateh Hooper and Turbidy combined for eight kills for the Skiers, who will take on Olathe and Gunnison on the road Saturday.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Skico and ESPN officials continue to work behind the scenes to organize 2021 X Games in a pandemic.