Aspen volleyball celebrates ‘powder day’
The Aspen Times
In a season when victories are as rare as powder days, the Aspen Skiers weren’t about to miss this storm.
The Aspen HIgh School volleyball team, with a blizzard of an attack from the service line and the net, beat rival Basalt in a 3-0 sweep Tuesday night at the AHS gymnasium.
Hustling around the court like powder hounds scrambling to catch the first ride up the gondola, the Skiers started the match on a 10-1 run en route to a 25-10, 25-19, 25-15 victory.
“It’s a matter of executing what we’ve been practicing,” Aspen head coach Matt Bergdahl said. “We’ve had enough time together. They know what I expect now.”
He said the Skiers picked up momentum last weekend with a pair of tough road losses to Olathe and Gunnison.
‘“We actually played well against them. I think we gained confidence,” Bergdahl said. “And it showed.”
The Skiers’ fast start included five service aces in the opening set — from Blake Harvey, from Mary Landis and two from Shannon Turbidy.
“When you can attack on service, it’s another weapon,” Bergdahl said.
They pounded four more aces in the second set and three more in the third — 12 points in a three-set match.
Turbidy also posted four kills in the first set when the Aspen setters spread the ball to four different hitters — Landis, Libby Dowley and Jessica Tyler.
“We get (offense) from all corners now,” Bergdahl said, looking back on Set 2 when the Skiers had four more kills from Dowley, three from Landis and three from Turbidy on sets from Sadie Alpern and Sophie Stuber.
Dowley drilled a pair of kills out of the middle to seal the 25-19 win.
The Skiers added scoring from the likes of Cameron Stover-Donaubauer on a key scramble in the third set.
Turbidy also pounded the loudest kill of the night. And Stuber added a kill for the Skiers, who collected their first Western Slope League victory of the season. Aspen is 6-11 overall.
Basalt, winless in the conference, pressed the Skiers with a big rally in the second set.
The Longhorns took the momentum and eventually the lead at 13-12 on a service streak of their own — five aces among the 13 points.
Ana Morales stared the run with back-to-back aces.
Carolyn DeVan followed suit with an ace off her “walking serve.”
And Kristin Mason contributed a pair of aces in the stetch.
Aspen answered with an ace from Landis as the Skiers went on a 7-3 run to pull ahead.
After Basalt scored on a kill in the middle by Morales following a dig by Cira Mylott, the Skiers stormed off to finish the set 25-19.
The Longhorns pressed the Skiers early in the third set on a back-row kill by Naomi Hennefeld and a block by Mylott, who added another kill later in the set.
But the Skiers answered again. Basalt fell to 1-16 overall.
“The girls want to finish the season strong,” the Aspen head coach said. “And that’s what we’re doing.”
The Skiers will host Roaring Fork from Carbondale at 6:30 p.m. Thursday with another storm brewing.
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Mikaela Shiffrin’s tentative plans on Father’s Day: Dinner with family. Perhaps a board game or a movie. Definitely some Jimmy Buffet or Paul Simon music. Because that’s the sort of celebration her dad Jeff Shiffrin would’ve wanted.