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Rams golden at district tourney

Jeff Caspersen
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Jeff Caspersen Post IndependentSenior Joey Clingan and her Roaring Fork volleyball teammates are headed to regionals after winning Saturday's 3A District 6 tournament in Carbondale.
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CARBONDALE, Colorado – This is what Roaring Fork’s volleyball team has been waiting for all year.

Ever since the Rams missed out on a trip to state with a loss to Faith Christian in a one-game playoff at last fall’s 3A Region D tournament, their minds have been trained on getting back to regionals.

On Saturday, that’s just what Roaring Fork did. Bulldozing their way to a 3-0 record and taking nine out of the 10 games they played, the Rams won the 3A District 6 tournament on their home court.



Now, Roaring Fork will wait and see where it’ll go for regionals next weekend.

As district champions, there’s a chance the 21-1 Rams will be host one of Class 3A’s four, four-team regionals, which will be seeded today by the Colorado High School Activities Association.



Whatever its regional destination, Roaring Fork will be thinking of last year’s 25-20 loss to Faith Christian.

“I don’t know about the other girls, but I’ve definitely used it as motivation,” Rams senior setter Joey Clingan said. “We just don’t want the same thing to happen and we’ve worked hard to make sure it doesn’t.”

In front of a gym packed with rowdy fans, Clingan and her teammates were certainly focused on Saturday.

Roaring Fork opened with a 25-13, 25-10, 25-17 win over Salida. The Rams then defeated Coal Ridge in three (25-15, 25-22, 25-11), setting up a district championship match against Lamar.

After rallying to a 25-20 win in the first game, the Rams squandered a 24-19 lead en route to a 29-27 loss in Game 2.

“Their defense was great,” Roaring Fork coach Carrie Shultz said. “They certainly frustrated our hitters. We just couldn’t put the ball away.”

Shultz’s hitters – namely Landon Garvik – had no issue finding open court in the third and fourth games, as the Rams won those by counts of 25-11 and 25-15, respectively.

“We were angry,” a grinning Clingan said.

Garvik finished the match with 30 kills, most with plenty of zip behind them. She also belted six aces. Niki Burns led the team with 16 digs and Clingan had 43 assists as the Rams secured the district title that eluded them last year.

“It’s nice to have the gold plaque,” said Shultz, whose team finished second in last year’s District 6 tournament. “There’s such a confidence about being here before and the comfort of being here. We came out on top this time around.”

Now the Rams have their sights set on next weekend’s regional tournament, from which two teams will qualify for the Nov. 12-13 state tournament.

“This is what we’ve been going for all season,” Clingan said. “Hopefully, regionals will be the same.”

Coal Ridge’s primary goal for 2010 was accomplished before they ever set foot in Roaring Fork’s gymnasium on Saturday. The Titans wanted a fourth-place finish in the 3A Western Slope League.

“We wanted to be top four,” Coal Ridge coach Scott Black said. “We just wanted to get to districts. That was our goal.”

At districts, the Titans lost to Lamar in four games (25-22, 25-16, 20-25, 26-24), to Roaring Fork in three (25-15, 25-22, 25-11) and to Salida in four (25-25, 25-17, 24-26, 25-22).

“I think just getting here and showing we can get through is enough for us,” senior Jessica West said. “We knew that Roaring Fork was really good. We weren’t too sure about Salida or Lamar. We haven’t played them before, but we knew they’d be good no matter what.”

Coal Ridge finished the season with a 10-12 record.

jcaspersen@postindependent.com


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