Demons ready for big season |

Demons ready for big season

Joelle MilholmGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Post Independent/Kelley Cox

First, the Glenwood Springs volleyball team thought it was in the playoffs.Then the Demons were told they weren’t, then they were, then they weren’t.It was a mess of Colorado High School Activities Association confusion that left the Demons out of the playoffs in 2006, sitting with a bitter taste in their mouths waiting for this season.And now, with a talented squad of experienced players, Glenwood is determined to leave no doubt of whether they are a quality team deserving of the playoffs.Four returning seniors with loads of varsity time – Carly Stillman, Chelsea Vallario, Avery Denney and Jessica Betts – are back for the Demons. Denney, the 2006 all-league Libero, should help the Demons immensely.

“Avery is always a strength,” Glenwood assistant head coach Jocelyn Anderson said. “She is a good digger, and she is all over the place.”The foursome is also joined by Kelsie Hert, a 6-foot senior who played junior varsity last year. “Kelsie is coming in at middle – she’s huge,” said third-year head coach Scott Nykerk. “She played well in the scrimmage (against Coal Ridge, Rifle and Rangely) on Saturday.”Mixed in with skilled juniors Kelly Lawson and Toni Gottschalk, the Demons should be able to take a stand in the tough Class 4A Western Slope League.”I think we are going to block well. Kelsie is going to be huge up there,” Nykerk said. “Avery is going to improve our defense, she is quite a bit better than last year. I think our defense should improve quite a bit.”

Scrambling for gym time at Glenwood Springs Middle School while construction wraps up at the high school, the Demons are getting as much practice time in as possible. Nykerk is hoping it will deliver one very important thing for the Demons.”Consistency,” he said. “Last year, the first half of the season, we played really well. We were third or fourth in league, and then we finished seventh because we plummeted. Another year of experience, and with Kelsie as a good edition, I don’t think that is going happen this year.”Glenwood will begin the season on Friday and Saturday by hosting the annual Demon Invitational. Eight teams will be competing in the tourney, which will split matches up between Glenwood Springs High School and Glenwood Springs Middle School. Western Slope foe Steamboat, Class 5A Grand Junction Central as well as a mix of 2A and 3A teams will be on hand.”We’ll play those teams where you really should beat them and gain some confidence and then play the hard teams,” Nykerk said.

Rifle trying to turn things aroundIt’s been a tough stretch for the Rifle volleyball team for the past few years, but the Bears are hoping to get back on the winning track in 2007.The Bears are practicing as much as possible and even attended a scrimmage at Coal Ridge on Saturday where they battled the Titans, Glenwood and Rangely.Geneva Farr returns at the helm for the Bears, ready to start her fourth season with the team by playing in the Alamosa Tournament this weekend.The Bears will be looking to fill the departures of Kelsey Feeley and Jenna Withee, who graduated in the spring.

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