Roaring Fork punches regional ticket |

Roaring Fork punches regional ticket

Jeff Caspersen
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent

CARBONDALE, Colorado – The most successful volleyball season in Roaring Fork’s recent history lived to see another weekend. Going 2-1 at Saturday’s Class 3A District 6 Tournament, the Rams are headed to the regional round of the state playoffs for the first time since 2004.

Roaring Fork, the tournament’s host, lost only to The Classical Academy, a powerhouse squad with a bevy of big hitters, in the day’s final match. The district’s top two teams advance to regionals.

“We’re very excited about making it to regionals,” Rams coach Carrie Shultz said. “We had some lineup and personnel changes we had to deal with late in the day [Friday] and I’m really happy with how the team responded to win those first two matches.”

An injury to junior middle blocker Landon Garvik forced those changes for Roaring Fork. Garvik did suit up and play on Saturday, though.

“We knew it’d be hard,” fellow junior Savanna Phibbs said. “Landon had an ankle injury [Friday]. We didn’t think she was going to be able to play, so we were kind of preparing ourselves for the worst, but it definitely turned out good.”

Shultz expects everyone to be at full strength by the time next weekend rolls around.

“Everybody will be back, 100 percent,” Shultz said.

The Rams will learn where they’re headed for regionals later this afternoon.

Roaring Fork coasted to wins in its first two matches on Saturday, dispatching of both Salida (25-20, 25-21, 25-19) and Olathe (25-22, 25-22, 25-20) in three games.

Then, in the day’s final match, the Rams locked horns with TCA in a battle for the district title.

Behind powerful arm swings from Shannon Durck, 6-foot-5 freshman Clair Felix and plenty others, the Titans rolled to a 25-14 win in the first game. They followed it up with a slim 29-27 victory in the second game and then a 25-16 triumph in the third game to put the match away.

Felix and 6-foot-1 sophomore Katie Reininger led TCA with 12 kills apiece. Felix chipped in four blocks.

Garvik led Roaring Fork (20-2) with nine kills. Niki Burns and Phibbs added five apiece and Joey Clingan finished with 19 assists.

Despite the defeat, Phibbs had a blast playing against what she said was the toughest team the Rams have faced all season.

“It was so much fun,” she said. “I didn’t want it to end, because it was the most challenging game. That’s why you play ball, for the challenge.”

Aside from a hiccup in its opening game against Olathe, TCA was virtually unstoppable on Saturday. The Titans plowed through their early schedule, knocking off Olathe (23-25, 25-13, 25-8, 25-14) and Salida (25-18, 25-17, 25-15).

“We started out slow this morning with some passing problems, but I think after that we kind of regrouped,” said TCA coach Lori Alejo, whose team will take a 17-2 record into regionals. “They were more focused on what they wanted to do, and that was to come here and win.”

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