Grand Valley finishes fast vs. Aspen volleyball
The Aspen Times
The Skiers started quickly when they took the court for each set of Saturday’s homecoming volleyball match.
But the visiting Cardinals from Grand Valley finished faster in all three sets of a 3-0 sweep at the Aspen High School gym.
The Aspen High School volleyball team surged to five-point lead midway through the opening set, boosted by a kill from Blake Harvey on a Grand Valley overpass and a back-row kill from Mary Landis.
Another big kill from Shannon Turbidy caromed off the blocker to extend Aspen’s early run.
The Cardinals responded with four ace serves down the stretch to go with the net play of Jori Dovey. Grand Valley scored eight of the last nine points in the set to win 25-18, finishing on an ace from freshman setter Kylyn Rigsby.
The Skiers repeated the early scoring surge in the second set, again leading by five at 14-9.
With three consecutive kills from Landis off sets from Katy Miller, the Skiers led, 15-11. Jessica Tyler and Harvey contributed kills, as well.
Grand Valley’s answer in Set 2 came from Kyra Chenoweth and Dovey. Chenoweth hammered five kills in the set, and Dovey added two key kills from the middle of the net as the Cardinals won the second set, 25-20. They finished on a 6-1 run after the set was tied at 19-all.
Set 3: Again.
The Skiers, with kills from Turbidy, Tyler, Landis, Stophie Stuber and Harvey, pressured the Cardinals early, again winning the race to 15.
But from a 15-14 lead, the Skiers watched a red-hot Grand Valley team go on an 11-4 run to finish with a 25-19 victory and a 3-0 sweep. The Cardinals closed the match on a 6-0 run.
Chenoweth led all hitters with 12 kills. Dovey added seven for Grand Valley, 3-1 in the Western Slope League and 6-6 overall.
Landis had 10 kills for the Skiers, 1-3 in league, 5-6 overall.
Turbidy added six kills.
“I asked the girls to come out of the blocks hard, so we wouldn’t have to play catch-up like we have in the last few matches,” Aspen head coach Matt Bergdahl said. “And they did that. They won the 15-point game all three games. But we had a little trouble finishing.”
Bergdahl said the Skiers were victimized by a couple of rotations that favored the Cardinals.
“When we got to that point, they went on streaks,” Bergdahl said. “That’s what got us … those streaks.”
He said the Skiers went to a different rotation in the third game in an effort to offset the late scoring runs by Grand Valley.
“We were able to do that some. But they are a tough-serving team. They were going with high risk, high reward-type serves.”
He said he was pleased with the spirited play of the Skiers, who are still adjusting to a new coach with Bergdahl returning to the program just this season.
“I have to give the girls the benefit of the doubt. We’re in transition,” he said. “We’re both learning how to dance together.”
And he liked a few of Saturday’s dance steps.
“I saw some things (Saturday) that I wanted to see,” Bergdahl said.
The Aspen High School volleyball team will return to action Tuesday at Rifle.
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There might be part of Hailey Swirbul that is finally beginning to believe she belongs. The 22-year-old cross-country skier is coming off quite a stretch with the U.S. ski team, one that includes her first career World Cup podium and a successful go in the notorious Tour de Ski stage race.