Ram spikers sweep past Olathe
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
CARBONDALE, Colorado ” Roaring Fork entered an emotional Senior Day game against Olathe with an important district playoff berth virtually on the line. After dispatching Grand Valley the previous night, the Rams were neck and neck with the Pirates for the last district spot in the 3A Western Slope League.
Apparently the Rams wanted it more.
Led by senior Maria Flores’ outstanding play at the net, the Rams swept the Pirates in three games (25-22, 25-20, 25-7) and secured the district spot.
“I think we were all really pumped up,” exclaimed a jubilant Flores. “We really wanted to win because of it being Senior Day. Me and Brenda (Bamford, the other senior) talked about that before the game and it just meant a lot to us, to go out like that.”
That emotion generated by the senior send-off carried Roaring Fork throughout the match. Everytime Olathe built a six or seven point lead in the first couple games, the Rams never got down. Instead, the team stayed positive, encouraged each other and regained control of the game.
The Rams dominated the play at the net. In addition to Flores who had ten kills to go with two aces, sophomore Landon Garvik really showed how bright her future is as she added eight kills and four blocks to go with an ace. Joey Clingan also contributed to the strong play up front with six kills of her own.
“I think they played with a lot of heart today,” Roaring Fork head coach Carrie Shultz said. “They really wanted to send the seniors out on a positive note and they were able to do that.
“We were neck and neck with Olathe for the qualifying spot and the girls knew that. It was very important to them to get there and finally they just put it all together.”
In the first game, the Rams started out slow. A lineup violation turned the ball over to the Pirates before the first serve was even tossed in the air and quickly Olathe built a 7-2 lead.
But with a strong display of heart, the Rams battled back with an 8-1 run to take the 10-8 lead and after the Pirates tied it at 17, the Rams pulled away for the 25-22 win ” Flores putting the game away with two consecutive vicious kills on the final two points.
The second game saw Olathe jump out to an even larger lead before squandering it just as quickly as it was built. Up 11-6 and 16-10, the Pirates appeared ready to even the match yet Roaring Fork didn’t give up.
Utilizing great serving by Niki Burns, the Rams came all the way back to take a 17-16 lead and after the two teams traded points, Roaring Fork pulled away at 20 to take the 2-0 lead in the match. From there Olathe was too demoralized to continue, game three was a rout from the very outset.
Firmly set in the middle, the fixture for the entire game, was Flores. Her senior leadership carried the team to the critical win and dominating sweep.
“She’s doing excellent,” Shultz gushed about Flores. “She’s led the team the entire season with her play and her encouragement. We’re definitely going to miss her but at the same time I know that she’s ready for the next stage of her life.”
“Oh my God it means a lot,” Flores exclaimed excitedly comprehending the full magnitude of the win. “We are now qualified for districts. … With a full team today, we wanted to come out and dominate and we did.”
The Pirates were led by senior Briana Vigil and sophomore Morgan Stansberry who each had five kills.
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The Coal Ridge High School volleyball team closed out the 3A Western Slope League season at home Thursday night with a three-game win over Aspen (25-20, 25-11, 25-14).