Basalt volleyball snaps 18-game skid against RFHS with Tuesday sweep

Basalt's Mackenzie Bauer, No. 10, goes up in anticipation of a Roaring Fork shot during Tuesday's match.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times |

The Basalt High School volleyball team swept through visiting Roaring Fork on Tuesday, and possibly swept nearly a decade of defeat away with it.

The Longhorns rolled through the Rams by set scores of 25-14, 25-13, 25-17 in Basalt to snap an 18-game skid against their valley rivals. According to MaxPreps, this is Basalt’s first win over RFHS since Sept. 4, 2008, a 3-1 victory.

Over the 18 losses since, Basalt only managed to reach a fifth game against Roaring Fork once, a 3-2 loss on Sept. 13 of last season. The Rams beat the Longhorns 3-0 in their second meeting of 2016, the last time the teams had played before Tuesday.

“They’ve had some good talent the last few years, but they’ve had some difficulty getting their confidence together and I felt they had it and then some tonight,” said BHS co-coach David Chadbourne. “They played the game we know they can play.”

The match was only in doubt a short while. The teams were tied 6-6 in the first set before a 7-1 run by Basalt put it out of reach. The Longhorns then jumped out to a 9-1 lead in the second set before running away with that one as well.

“The girls have had a lot of confidence issues and I think they overcame that tonight,” Chadbourne said. “We got a lot of season left, but I think we’ve really reached a milestone tonight because of that confidence level. If we lose from here forward, I think it will be because a team will outplay us. I don’t think it’s going to be because we outplay ourselves.”

The only time Basalt trailed came early in the third set, but down 5-4 BHS strung together an 8-2 run, including six straight points, to finally shut down Roaring Fork for good.

“This is a huge win for this program,” BHS co-coach Amy Trautman said. “Our C team and our JV team lost to them a few weeks ago and then came back and beat them tonight. It was great to have all of our teams come away with wins today.”

Roaring Fork fell to 1-6 with the loss, while Basalt improved to 1-2 on the season. The Longhorns opened the fall with 3-1 losses to both Aspen and Gunnison. BHS will play at Rifle on Saturday.

“Honestly, I’m just so proud of my team and how we worked together,” BHS senior Kaylin Williams said. “This night was a confidence boost, because losing the last two games that we expected to win got us down, but everyone played super cool, calm and collected.”

More than a game

Prior to the start of Tuesday’s game, the players came together on court to recognize Basalt High School sophomore Anna Cunningham. Cunningham was diagnosed with cancer a couple of years ago, and found out it had relapsed this summer.

“It made me so emotional and so happy to celebrate her,” Williams said.

Cunningham played on the valley’s club team — Valley Chaos — and is close friends with many members of the BHS volleyball team, as well as that of Roaring Fork. Her mother, Julie, had planned to be Basalt’s junior varsity coach this year until her daughter’s health worsened.

“She had played in our program a couple of years ago and played club with a bunch of the girls and she is not able to play this season, so we wanted to do something to honor her and make her feel included,” Trautman said.