Roaring Fork sweeps Grand Valley, now 8-0 |

Roaring Fork sweeps Grand Valley, now 8-0

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

CARBONDALE, Colorado – Fast starts aren’t necessarily the norm for Roaring Fork’s volleyball team, but once the Rams get warmed up, they tend to show opponents little in the way of mercy.

Tuesday night proved no exception.

With Landon Garvik swinging for 17 kills and Niki Burns smashing 10, Roaring Fork downed visiting Grand Valley 25-19, 25-12, 25-18.

“It’s really good when we all have a good game,” said Roaring Fork setter Joey Clingan, who finished with 28 assists. “There are some nights when not all of us have a good game. We’ve still been able to work through it, but a game like tonight where all of us are pretty much on is great.”

Early on, it looked as though the Rams might have a battle on their hands.

Grand Valley hung tight in the early stages of the first game, forcing five ties before Roaring Fork caught fire, spinning a 7-all tie into a 20-13 lead in a flash. Five kills apiece from Garvik and Burns fueled the first-game win.

Clingan, who distributed 13 assists in that first game, isn’t exactly sure why it typically takes her team a few points to start clicking.

“That seems to be how it is for us,” she said. “We seem to work through it. I guess the butterflies are gone when we get warmed up.”

Sustaining their hot streak, the Rams continued to pour it on in the second game, taking a 5-0 lead out of the gate and cruising from there.

Despite holding leads of 9-5 and 11-7 in the third game, the Cardinals couldn’t extend the match past a third game. Roaring Fork accounted for 18 of the night’s final 25 points to polish off a win over its 3A Western Slope League foe.

“They’ve got quite the 1-2 punch with their setter and Landon,” Grand Valley coach David Walck said. “And then they have a punch on the outside when [Burns] is hitting consistently.”

That three-pronged attack Walck referenced has helped the Rams to an 8-0 overall record and 6-0 mark in league.

“I’ve seen, throughout the season, their confidence building,” Roaring Fork coach Carrie Shultz said. “Every win, they get a little confidence under their belt.”

As for the Cardinals, they’re still learning how to win.

“We’re doing leaps and bounds better than what we’ve done,” Walck said. “I see moments of greatness. I’d like to see more consistency. It’s a great group of kids. I think they’ve just lost so much that they’ve gotten used to it. They play not to lose vs. playing for that win and being aggressive.”

Now sitting at 5-5 overall and 4-3 in league, Grand Valley appears to be following the right trajectory.

Caitlin Brady led the Cardinals in kills with five on Tuesday. Erin Vanderpool and Jessica Bell chipped in with four apiece.

Grand Valley closes out the first half of league play at Gunnison on Friday. Roaring Fork is at Aspen on Thursday.

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