Horns spikers sweep Skiers, stay perfect
ASPEN On one side of the net was an undefeated Basalt team brimming with confidence. On the other, a winless Aspen team searching for some cohesiveness.Friday night on homecoming weekend, no less certainly wasnt the ideal night for Aspens young volleyball team to face off against its fiercest rival. The Longhorns, with a larger crowd in tow, humbled the error-prone Skiers in three straight games (25-12, 25-10, 25-13) to earn their eighth-straight win and third sweep of the season. Afterward, the two teams who had shared the court couldnt have been in more opposite places mentally. It feels good, said Basalt sophomore setter Kehau Vegas. Its a bummer for them to lose homecoming, but its good for us. We are going to need to learn to play as a team and not have attitudes, said first-year Aspen coach Jen Schrock, whose team dropped to 0-6. Thats one thing thats killing us. Its making people break down and we just need to stay positive and play as a team.
Basalt wasted no time asserting its control and inciting its cheering section when it jumped out to a 10-5 lead in the opening game. Schrock called a timeout, but it didnt help, as Basalt reeled off four straight points keyed by aggressive digging and blocking and pinpoint serving. Basalts Nicole Booth stuffed Aspens Elissa Walter cleanly for her teams 11th point, then dropped a shot past Aspens block for its 12th. Basalts Heather Nemiec then served up an ace, followed by a dig from Shelby Holmes on the ensuing point to prolong the rally, which Aspen eventually lost when a Skiers player hit into the net. The Skiers then went on a five-point run of their own, keyed by three Longhorns hitting errors. The momentum was short-lived, however, as Basalt rallied back with an 11-2 run to close the game. Basalt middle blocker Dayne Toney accounted for all but five of those points, teaming up for three blocks and adding three kills. Weve dialed some things in, Basalt coach Clay Dahlman said. Weve got better passing and better defense. The girls were scrappy tonight with their digs, and at the net. Our passing was definitely on tonight, and good passes mean good sets, especially to Dayne, Vegas said. Already deflated, the Skiers imploded in the second game, committing eight errors six of them serves into the net that allowed Basalt to roll to the 15-point win. Basalts serving, meanwhile, couldnt have been more accurate.
Nemiec and Vegas each had two aces for Basalt in the win, and senior Kat Fitzpatrick added another. In the third game, Basalt closed the match with an 8-2 run, the last point coming when Aspens Elissa Walter hit into the net. Stopping runs is the one thing that we have a problem with, Schrock said. We can sideout as much as we want, but for some reason we cant stop the runs from happening. We let them sideout and get point after point, and then we cant get back in it. We just cant do it. While Walters botched shot ended the match, the junior outside hitter was the best offensive player on the floor for the Skiers, leading her team with four kills. I think were a pretty new team together because this is a mix between last years varsity and last years JV, Walter said. I just think we need to figure out how to play with each other and figure out each others play and be a team and communicate. Aspen next plays at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Coal Ridge, while Basalt travels to Cedaredge for a 5 p.m. match Saturday. Nate Petersons e-mail address is email@example.com.
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The 2020-21 Nordic combined season was supposed to be historic. This winter was going to be the first ever with women’s Nordic combined World Cup events, the first scheduled for Dec. 3-6 in Lillehammer, Norway.