Still youthful, BHS volleyball has enough experience to feel confident entering fall
Youth played a significant role last fall in a season that saw the Basalt High School volleyball team take a big step back. The hope is all that experience will now lead to a few steps forward in 2019.
“They started to gain momentum, definitely, and they are playing stronger this year,” BHS coach David Chadbourne said. “They are playing faster this year. They are playing a lot more confident.”
The Longhorns open their season Saturday at a tournament hosted by Thornton, with games against Golden, Palmer and Denver guaranteed. Their home opener is Tuesday, Sept. 10 against Moffat County.
Basalt went 11-12 in 2017, the first year under Chadbourne. It was easily the best season for the program since going 13-9 in 2008. The most wins in a single season over that span was six. In 2018, after losing a big senior class, Basalt went 6-16 overall. Three of those wins came over the final six games.
“They want to play at a high level,” Chadbourne said of this year’s team. “Regardless of the win-loss record, they just want to play high-level volleyball and I think the wins will come as a result of that.”
Back is sophomore Lexi Lowe, who was the team’s starting setter as a freshman and a key leader despite her age. Chadbourne said it was like having a freshman playing quarterback on a football team.
“With a freshman starter last year as the setter, Lexi Lowe had a lot on her plate playing pretty high-level volleyball,” he said. “But she stepped up and did a great job for us last year.”
The Longhorns have a trio of seniors in Lecsi Glenn, Mia Olson and Samanta Andrade, who Chadbourne called the team’s defensive “wild card.” Another key returner is junior Karina Bauer.
Youth will continue to play a major role this season, but in a way Chadbourne expects will be much more competitive on the court.
“We’ve still got a lot of time with a good number of these girls,” Chadbourne said. “They are a good bunch of kids and they are a good bunch of volleyball players.”
The Aspen High School volleyball team isn’t scheduled to open its season until Sept. 12 against Roaring Fork. BHS will host Aspen on Sept. 19, while Basalt will play at AHS on Oct. 15.
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The Aspen High School ski team wrapped up its short and sweet regular season Friday with home races at Highlands. The Skiers hosted both a slalom and giant slalom on Thunderbowl, with an AHS athlete taking three of the wins.