Aspen volleyball sweeps through Rifle
Down a point early in the second set against visiting Rifle on Tuesday, the Aspen High School volleyball team needed a jolt and got one via a fiery timeout speech from coach Matt Bergdahl.
In reality, the speech was probably less fiery and more a simple reminder to play better, but it got the job done either way.
“I had to put a little fire in my timeout speech on that one,” Bergdahl said. “This is one of those classic times when you relax. You don’t feel under pressure from the other team, so you relax and kind of play with them. I had to remind them in the middle of that second game that we needed to play better than we were.”
The Skiers rattled off seven straight points after that timeout, part of a 25-16 second set win that led to a three-set sweep of the Bears (3-14 overall).
Aspen won the back-and-forth first set 25-22 and used another strong run midway through the third set to win 25-20.
The match was the first for the Skiers since going 2-3 at a tournament hosted by Battle Mountain on Saturday.
“We played well with those teams. You can’t say enough about gaining confidence in those tournaments,” Bergdahl said. “That last five-match tournament on Saturday really helped us out a lot and we got a lot of confidence playing good defense. I think it translated to our match tonight.”
In that tournament, Aspen beat Golden and Vail Christian before falling to Lutheran, Battle Mountain and Vail Mountain.
Next for Aspen (7-8 overall) is a 3 p.m. match Saturday vs. Cedaredge. While not the official last home match of the season, the Skiers will celebrate senior day prior to the first set being played.
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Aspen Skiing Co. will delay the opening of Aspen Highlands until Dec. 18 due to lack of a base and scant snow in the forecast.