Aspen volleyball swept by Coal Ridge |

Aspen volleyball swept by Coal Ridge

Aspen High School's Liza Vecchiarello defends against a Coal Ridge hit on Thursday. The Titans won the match, 3-0.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times |

Once the Coal Ridge High School volleyball team got going against Aspen on Thursday, it was difficult for the Skiers to find a way back into the match.

“We have moments when we can play with anybody, but the moments have to last longer,” Aspen coach Matt Bergdahl said. “They are a well-coached team. They play year round with club ball and stuff, so they have a lot of miles that we don’t.”

Coal Ridge (6-2) entered Thursday’s contest in Aspen only a spot outside the top 10 in Class 3A, its only losses coming to Paonia (No. 1 in 2A) and Delta (No. 10 in 3A). The Titans played like a team built for a deep postseason run against the Skiers, cruising to a 3-0 win.

“They are a good team,” Bergdahl said. “If you watch, you see the serving. Again, it comes back to really tough serving on their part.”

Serving cost Aspen on Tuesday as well as in a 3-1 loss to Roaring Fork. Coal Ridge led 4-0 in the first set and was barely tested en route to a 25-13 set win. Aspen’s only lead of the first two sets came at 1-0 in the second set on a service ace from Mary Williams, but a quick 4-0 run by Coal Ridge led to another 25-13 set win.

The Titans led 5-0 in the third set before Aspen put together its best stretch, scoring six straight points to take a 6-5 lead. Out of a timeout, Coal Ridge answered with five straight points and fended off a Skier team that refused to go away.

“They got a little jump in the third set there, and then we played point for point with them,” Bergdahl said. “It’s just hard in rally scoring to close that gap. It’s like the clock is ticking.”

The Titans won the third set 25-18 to earn the sweep.

Aspen, now 3-4 overall, is at a bit of a crossroads as the midway point of the season approaches and the downtime for experiential education week will limit practice time for the Skiers the rest of the way.

Aspen is 1-3 over its previous four matches after starting 2-1.

“The ex-ed schedule took us out of a lot of matches. It sets our schedule off a little bit to the point where we get one practice then play a match,” Bergdahl said. “It’s one of the things we just have to put into our calculus for figuring out how to get the girls fired up and back on track.”

The Skiers are off until Tuesday when they host Moffat County.

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