Briefs: MotherLode volleyball is back, Basalt softball rolls over Gunnison |

Briefs: MotherLode volleyball is back, Basalt softball rolls over Gunnison

Rifle High School junior Wolfgang Smith tees off during Tuesday's tournament at Rifle Creek.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

MotherLode Volleyball Classic gets started Wednesday in Aspen

Now in its 46th year, the annual MotherLode Volleyball Classic makes its return to Aspen for Labor Day Weekend.

The grassroots beach and grass volleyball tournament gets underway Wednesday and will include six straight days of play, concluding with the open tournament finals on Monday.

Considered one of the top pro-am tournaments in the country, the classic has been held since 1981 after taking over the event, which was originally started in 1972 by the former MotherLode Restaurant, when it was a simple one-day Labor Day barbecue.

The MotherLode is free for spectators, with most of the action taking place on the championship courts at Koch Lumber Park in Aspen. The amateur and recreational divisions will be played on the grass courts at both Wagner Park and the Rio Grande property.

There will be 21 primary divisions, including men, women and co-ed. The tournament will also host the national championships for age group divisions for men’s 60-and-over down through women’s 35-and-over.

Longtime producer Leon Fell has recently partnered with “Fresh Tracks,” a group of interested players and fans who are in place to take over management of the tournament beginning with the 2019 event. Fell has organized the tournament since 1981.

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Basalt High softball gets to 3-0 with easy sweep of Gunnison

The Basalt High School softball team had no issues getting to 3-0 on the season after sweeping host Gunnison on Tuesday afternoon. BHS, which opened the season with a 19-1 win at Aspen on Thursday, beat Gunnison by scores of 12-0 and 16-1. Gunnison (4-3 overall) went 2-17 a year ago.

In the 12-0 win, Basalt’s Maya Lindgren (4.0 IP) and Bella Meraz (1.0 IP) combined for a no-hitter, with eight combined strikeouts. In the second game, BHS’s Grace Schrock allowed three hits and a run in 3.0 innings, while Lindgren didn’t give up a hit in the single inning she pitched.

Basalt (3-0) is off until Saturday when it travels to Montezuma-Cortez for a doubleheader.

Rifle’s Wolfgang Smith wins Rifle Creek golf tournament

Competing at his home course Tuesday morning at Rifle Creek Golf Course, Rifle High School junior Wolfgang Smith turned in a career day, winning the tournament with a round of 77, two strokes ahead of Steamboat’s Tommy Henninger and three strokes ahead of Summit’s Noah Begley.

Smith’s winning round led the Bears to a fourth-place finish as a team with a score of 258. Steamboat won the team portion with a score of 244, while Summit (247) and Battle Mountain (249) rounded out the top three.

Finishing tied for fifth behind Rifle was Coal Ridge and Basalt, shooting team scores of 259.

Coal Ridge was led by Austin Gerber, who shot a round of 84 to pace the Titans. Basalt, missing a few of its top golfers, tied with Coal Ridge as Blake Exelbert led the way with a round of 84. Grant Borchelt shot a round of 87, while Tyler Sims carded a round of 88. Kyle Murray (94) and Jacob Fowler (110) capped off the day for the Longhorns.

— Glenwood Springs Post Independent

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