Preps: Basalt volleyball beats Rifle, clinches first league title since 2007

The 2021 spring Basalt High School volleyball team won the Class 3A Western Slope League.
Courtesy photo

The Basalt High School volleyball team closed out its regular season on Thursday with a road sweep of Rifle to clinch its first league championship since 2007. Set scores were 25-11, 25-14 and 25-15.

The Longhorns finish the season 10-4 overall and 8-1 in Class 3A Western Slope League play. Only two seasons ago, when this year’s seniors were sophomores, BHS finished dead last in the 10-team league.

Next, Basalt will await the release of the state tournament brackets, expected out this weekend or early next week. As a league champion, the Longhorns are guaranteed a spot.

Rifle dropped to 0-12 with the loss. The Bears still have games against Cedaredge (Friday) and Gunnison (Saturday) to go.

The Aspen High School volleyball team competed Thursday at Coal Ridge, falling 3-0. Set scores were 25-20, 25-11 and 25-14. Now 3-10 overall, the Skiers will close out their spring season on Friday at Delta, which sits second in the WSL behind Basalt.

Aspen, Coal Ridge football battling for playoff lives

The regular season will wrap up this weekend for spring football, with Aspen High School playing Friday night at Coal Ridge in a game that could very well send one team to the postseason and send the other home for good.

In the ever-important RPI (rating percentage index), the mathematical number that determines most playoff spots, the Skiers (2-3) enter the final game No. 8 in Class 3A, while the Titans (3-2) are No. 9.

Only eight of the 16 teams in the classification will make the playoffs, so basic logic says the winner of Friday’s game in New Castle is likely in the postseason and the loser is out, although nothing will be official until the brackets are released either Sunday or Monday.

Aspen’s three losses this spring have come to three of the top five teams in the RPI rankings in Glenwood Springs (No. 1), Basalt (No. 4) and Rifle (No. 5).

Basalt (4-1), fresh off a 51-8 hammering of Aspen last week, plays Saturday night against Montezuma-Cortez (2-3) in Grand Junction.

While the Longhorns making the playoffs seems all but assured, they hope to earn one of the top four seeds in order to host a first-round playoff game. Based off the current RPI numbers, a win won’t guarantee them a home game, but a loss would almost certainly send them on the road for the first round.