Coal Ridge spikes Aspen |

Coal Ridge spikes Aspen

Jeff CaspersenGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent

PEACH VALLEY, Colorado – Not until they walked off the court winners on Tuesday did Coal Ridge’s volleyball players begin looking ahead to Friday.Coach Denise Greene warned her Titans against overlooking the night’s opponent, Aspen, in anticipation of Friday’s match with the 3A Western Slope League’s only other unbeaten team – Gunnison.”I told them last night (Monday) that if they’re looking forward to Gunnison, then we’ll have a bad night tomorrow night (Tuesday),” she said. Taking the coach’s words to heart, the Titans delivered a good night, sending the visiting Skiers away with a three-game loss (25-15, 25-15, 25-11).”I’m so proud of my girls,” Greene said. “I think that’s the best they’ve played as a group. We just executed and played well.”

Sierra Grove’s 35 assists – in just three games – spoke to the team’s togetherness. Plenty of Titans benefited from Grove’s passing. Jessica Needham swatted 13 kills and Britney Smith knocked down five for Coal Ridge, which kept Aspen’s defense guessing with a mix of dinks and smashes.Skiers coach Clay Dahlman, whose team took Gunnison to five games on Saturday, said his squad simply did not show up.”(Coal Ridge) played tough,” he said, “but we didn’t come out here and play like we expected to play. We’ve taken some of the top teams in the league to five and we’ve done this twice against Coal Ridge. Coal Ridge must not think we have much of a team.”

Including a Sept. 6 meeting between the teams in Aspen, the Skiers have not won a game against the Titans, who upped their 3A WSL record to 9-0 and overall mark to 10-2.Elissa Walter and Katy Evans led Aspen with six kills apiece.While the Skiers travel to Grand Valley on Friday, Coal Ridge will be seeking sole possession of first place in Gunnison, where a Cowboy team that’s 11-1 overall and shares an identical league record awaits.It’s a match the Titans insist they have not thought about all that much. And a match in which they’d like to be classified as the underdogs.”We try not to think about it,” said senior Kelly Romero, who dug a team-high 18 balls against Aspen. “We try to take it one point, one game, at a time. We act as if the other team’s always the better team, so we can stay focused and not allow any other distractions.”

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