Roaring Fork seniors deliver on their night |

Roaring Fork seniors deliver on their night

Jeff Caspersen
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Jeff Caspersen Post IndependentRoaring Fork senior Landon Garvik reaches to send a shot over the net during Thursday's match against Coal Ridge. The Rams won in three games.

CARBONDALE, Colorado – Landon Garvik didn’t expect the emotional rush she experienced on Thursday.

Standing in front of a gymnasium full of fans and with her parents and four fellow senior Roaring Fork volleyball players by her side worked up all sorts of feelings for Garvik.

“I was not expecting to be so overwhelmed with emotion, but you’re up there for the last time,” she said of Thursday’s senior night ceremony, in which Garvik, Niki Burns, Ixchel Muniz, Joey Clingan and Savanna Phibbs were honored. “I’m tearing up now. It’s real emotional. I was worried and thinking, ‘We’ve still got volleyball to play. It can’t be like this.'”

Garvik and her teammates, who have been winning volleyball matches together since the seventh grade, somehow bottled up all that emotion and played the high-level volleyball they’ve grown so accustomed to.

In a match that lasted less than an hour, the Rams took care of visiting Coal Ridge, 25-14, 25-10, 25-16.

Garvik smashed 16 kills and finished with 16 digs. Burns chipped in with seven kills and 10 digs and Clingan had 26 assists as the Rams, who already have a second straight 3A Western Slope League title wrapped up, improved to 17-1 overall and to 17-0 in league.

While they were happy to record the win, playing on their home court for the final time in the regular season took center stage in the minds of Roaring Fork’s five seniors, who were dubbed “The Dream Team” as they came up through the club and middle school volleyball ranks.

“It was really, really, really sad,” Burns said. “I cried. I was trying really hard not to bawl, actually. It’s just such a big deal to me because I’ve played with those four girls since the seventh grade. … I’m going to miss that a ton.”

“It was kind of overwhelming,” Muniz added. “It’s been the core five of us for about six years. Knowing it’s all kind of coming to an end and we have only a few more weeks of volleyball left, it was just kind of tear-jerking.”

Though it was the last match of the regular season for Roaring Fork, the Rams will be back on their home court when they host a district tournament on Oct. 30.

“Districts are here,” Garvik said. “It’s just going to be really fun. I hope the community comes out like they did tonight. We fed off their emotion. The student section is our main fire. It was good to hear them tonight. They were awesome.”

Coal Ridge, which was led by Jessica West’s seven kills and four blocks, dropped to 9-9 overall and to 9-8 in league play. With just a 5:30 p.m. match against visiting Aspen tonight remaining on the schedule, the Titans all but have fourth place locked up in the 3A WSL.

“It’s good news, bad news, good news,” Coal Ridge coach Scott Black said. “The good news is we’re in fourth, where we wanted to be. The bad news is we’ll be in Roaring Fork’s pool. The other good news is: We don’t have to travel. We’ll be playing right here.”

Roaring Fork will try to complete a perfect league season with a trip to Cedaredge tonight.

Roaring Fork head coach Carrie Shultz missed Thursday’s game. She was out of town to attend a wedding. Assistant coaches Jennifer Dority and Maryam Kling guided the Rams in her absence. … Roaring Fork is now ranked No. 10 in Class 3A by The Denver Post. The Rams are ranked fifth by Colorado Preps Network.

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