Volleyball: Roaring Fork routs Aspen
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
ASPEN – Besting the Roaring Fork volleyball team proved to be a tall order for host Aspen on Tuesday night.
The Rams exploited their decided size advantage all evening, converting multiple powerful kills – including one that nearly knocked the Skiers’ Shannon Turbidy off her feet – and impeding the home team’s ability to generate much offense. Roaring Fork was rarely tested, handing Aspen a third consecutive loss with an impressive 25-12, 25-16, 25-14 effort.
“Several parents came in and said, ‘Look how tall their varsity team is.’ It’s daunting,” Skiers head coach Clay Dahlman admitted. “They have a lot of great girls who put in a lot of time, and it shows on the court. … Our girls are not used to seeing that level of volleyball.”
The Rams’ dynamic duo of Hattie and Megan Gianinetti controlled Game 1 from the outset, sparking a 15-4 run that prompted an Aspen timeout.
The Skiers momentarily responded with three points – all on Roaring Fork miscues – but the Rams answered with a 5-1 spurt to put things out of reach. Megan Gianinetti finished things off with a powerful kill up the middle of the court.
The two sides shared the lead six times early in Game 2, but the Rams broke a
9-all tie with a Megan Gianinetti ace and a block from Caitlin Kinney. They never looked back, and a host of head-scratching errors compounded Aspen’s efforts to keep pace.
“We shut them down in many ways and had an answer for some of their attacks, especially in Game 2. Not all of them, though,” Dahlman said. “A couple of our lineups came out flat, and it was hard to regroup. We were hanging tight, but then there were those couple fizzles.”
Roaring Fork scored 17 of Game 3’s first 24 points, six coming on Megan Gianinetti kills. Its advantage ballooned to as many as 13 in the final minutes.
Dahlman opted to call one last timeout with his team trailing, 24-10.
“I was trying to identify places in the game where I wanted to remind them to keep fighting,” Dahlman said. “During that last timeout, I told them they could wave the white flag or stand up and fight for every point.”
The Skiers spoiled four game points before the Rams converted a kill to seal the win.
“That finish, to me, was so important,” Dahlman said. “It would’ve felt different at practice tomorrow if we didn’t stop the bleeding with that surge of energy there at the end.
“We wanted to give them a touch more of a battle, but we did the best we can. That gives us some satisfaction.”
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Had Hailey Swirbul decided against going to Europe, she would not have finished with a career-best result in Friday’s World Cup opener. Yes, there was a time, and not long ago, when the U.S. ski team member and Roaring Fork Valley native questioned her desire to put on a race bib.