BHS v-ball spikes Hotchkiss | AspenTimes.com
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BHS v-ball spikes Hotchkiss

Steve Benson

It may look like a junior varsity team on paper, with a freshman and five sophomores rounding out the starting lineup, but the Basalt High volleyball squad is playing like a group of seasoned veterans.The Longhorns are 6-0 after defeating Hotchkiss 3-1 at home Saturday, and head coach Billy Miller doesn’t see any signs of a letdown.”Everybody plays their roles and their positions really well,” Miller said after Saturday’s match. “They’re getting better every week.”Freshman Dayne Toney had seven kills and sophomore Elisabeth Nemiec had 38 assists Saturday.”That’s pretty nice,” Miller said.The Longhorns got off to a slow start in the match and were down 24-16 in the first game before staging an unlikely comeback to win 27-25. They edged Hotchkiss 25-23 in the second game before losing the third 25-20.”I don’t know what happened there,” Miller said.The Longhorns mirrored that score in the fourth game for a 25-20 win to seal the match.Anchoring the talented youngsters are a pair of seniors in Jessica Barnes and Jenny Hamby, who are the only upperclassmen. While starting freshmen and sophomores over seniors could lead to an internal power struggle on other teams, Miller said his girls are comfortable sharing the spotlight.”They play well together, they’re not six individuals but one team,” he said. “They’ve really showed a lot of player support.”Miller credits a lot of the team’s success to the Basalt Volleyball Club, which is where most of the girls got their start.”They come in as freshmen already knowing our system,” he said. “The club has been a strong influence on our high school team.”And most of the girls still play for the club during the off-season. Over the summer, they played in two tournaments and by the time the high school schedule started they were already in midseason form.”They’re really fired up,” Miller said. “We’re not seeing the nerves you normally see on a young team.”Steve Benson’s e-mail address is sbenson@aspentimes.com

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