Volleyball: Aspen sharp in win over Grand Valley
Aspen High School volleyball assistant coaches Kristen Craig and Bailey Holmes didn’t feel they did a whole lot in the Skiers’ 3-1 win against Grand Valley on Saturday in the AHS gymnasium.
Even without Aspen head coach Matt Bergdahl — he was serving a CHSAA-mandated one-game suspension after being ejected in the team’s 3-2 loss at Gunnison on Tuesday — the Skiers hardly missed a beat against a tough Grand Valley team.
“It is a big win. They definitely dug in deep,” Craig said. “Coach Bergdahl brought them here and they just played what coach has taught them all these weeks.”
Grand Valley (7-4 overall) entered Saturday’s contest winners of five straight matches. Aspen, playing for only the second time since returning from its experiential education week, dictated the match from the start.
“We had a tough match against Gunnison. I think that got the rust off and right away the next day they were ready to get back to work,” Holmes said. “Really, it was the girls and what Matt has taught them. It’s cool to see them be able to take what they have learned from him and be able to apply it in a game situation.”
The Skiers had a 6-0 run early in the first set and never trailed — the Cardinals did force a tie at 11-11 — to win, 25-17. After falling behind 2-0 in the second set, Aspen stormed back to lead by as much as 20-12. Grand Valley made it competitive, getting as close as 24-23 before the Skiers put the second set away to win, 25-23.
Then the third set happened, one Aspen hopes to soon enough forget. Grand Valley led 6-0 in that set and cruised to a 25-15 win.
“It’s really important to forget about bad plays and to learn from it and to come out swinging,” Holmes said. “With them, it’s kind of like a domino effect. If one girl starts to get frustrated with herself, it happens to all of them. So they just talked to each other and really came together as a team.”
Before Grand Valley had a chance to carry its third-set momentum into the fourth set, Aspen jumped out to a 5-0 lead and was barely tested in the 25-15 fourth-set win, securing the match victory.
Aspen improved to 3-2 with the win and next will host Roaring Fork (6-5) on Tuesday. Bergdahl will be back on the sideline against the Rams, a team that beat Aspen 3-2 in the season opener in Carbondale.
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Katelyn Maley was the first across the finish line on Saturday at the Norris-Penrose Event Center, winning the Class 3A girls state championship in 18 minutes, 39 seconds. She came in more than 34 seconds ahead of second place.