Pep talk awakens Grand Valley volleyball team
Citizen Telegram Sports Editor
PARACHUTE — David Walck let a player from another team give a pep talk with his Grand Valley High School volleyball team this past weekend.
Granted, the overall results of the Cardinals’ performance at the 16-team Demon Invitational volleyball tournament wasn’t overwhelming. They lost their first three matches to Denver Christian, Coal Ridge and Rangely to post an 0-3 record through pool play.
It looked like they were on their way to another loss late Saturday afternoon in their fourth match of the tournament, falling to Meeker in the first set. That’s when the Cardinals came together, however, for a 20-25, 25-21, 15-9 victory over the Cowboys in Grand Valley’s final match of the tournament.
And it was during that victory that a pep talk from a peer across the net began to resonate.
“This young lady started asking us where we were from,” Walck said. “She told the girls not to have self glory, because everything you do you do for your team, because that’s what she learned when she won two state titles.”
That young lady was Connie Olson, a senior outside hitter from Lutheran in Denver, whose team not only won the Demon Invite, but has won the past two Class 2A state championships.
“It’s kind of funny,” Walck said, smiling. “As a coach, you say things like that all the time. But when another kid says that to them, they tend to listen more. It definitely sunk in.”
The Cardinals fell in three sets — 21-25, 25-23, 15-5 — to Denver Christian, lost 25-11, 25-13 in their first tournament match against Coal Ridge, and fell 25-21, 25-19 against Rangely. Part of that came from some communication problems between the older players and the Cardinals’ new setter, freshman Kylyn Rigsby, which were addressed and corrected as the tournament went on.
“Confidence matters,” Walck said. “When you have a new captain taking over the setting job, kids get unsure and they’re trying to figure things out very quickly. They finally figured out, as a team, that they needed to do more to help her out so we could all benefit.”
ASPEN – Maria Gonzales pitched a no-hitter on Tuesday, highlighting the Grand Valley High School softball team’s 16-0 victory over Aspen in the Class 3A Western Slope League opener for both teams.
Gonzales, a freshman, struck out four, hit a batter and walked only one. She threw only 28 pitches in the game against the Skiers, and the Cardinals won the game by the 10-run mercy rule in five innings.
“I was really excited about it,” Grand Valley coach Brooke Whitman said. “I was just a little hesitant, because off the level of the team we were playing, but it was a great performance by her.”
Sierra Berger hit a double to lead the offensive attack for the Cardinals (3-1 overall, 1-0 league).
Cardinals fall in football opener
PARACHUTE — Grand Valley senior quarterback Tyler Scott threw for 169 yards and two TDs — including a pair of strikes to Santos Cornejo — and he ran for 97 yards on 11 carries. Still, Meeker scored three unanswered touchdowns in the first half and held on for a 32-29 victory.
Bryan Hegwood scored on a 12-yard run in the third quarter, but a 59-yard scoring jaunt from Meeker quarterback Jake Phelan in the fourth quarter gave the Cowboys all the points they would need.
Leon Hernandez found the end zone with a 1-yard run that gave the Cardinals (0-1) a 14-7 lead following the point-after kick from Cristian Gomez. Phelan, however, answered with a 60-yard strike to T.J. Shelton and scoring runs of 1 and 7 yards to give Meeker a 26-14 halftime lead.
Grand Valley plays again on Friday at Paonia. The Eagles were off last week, but they opened the season with a 30-8 victory over Basalt on Aug. 23.
Boys soccer drops first three matches of season
Grand Valley’s boys soccer team started the season 1-3-0 in its first four games of the season.
The Cardinals opened the season Aug. 29 with a 7-0 loss at Vail Mountain, then won one of its three matches at the Lake County Invitational in Leadville. On Aug. 30, Grand Valley beat Center 3-1 for its first win of the season prior to losses to Lake County (7-2) and The Pinnacle (1-0) on Saturday. Grand Valley plays its next game at home against Aspen this afternoon.
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Rifle softball scored 17 runs in the second inning, battling back from a 3-2 deficit Thursday to 15-run rule Meeker.