Spikers’ skills net all-WSL picks
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. It was a battle. A one-on-one matchup of some of the best spikers in the area.A showdown to see whose skills were superior.
It was Roaring Fork’s Erica Pelland vs. Coal Ridge’s Chloe Nelson.On Sept. 23, the two took the court at Roaring Fork High School in a thrilling five-game match showcasing unparalleled talent.After trading points in game one, Roaring Fork took a 24-23 lead. Soaring over the next and throwing down a monstrous kill, Pelland slammed the door on game one and gave the Rams the first victory.In game three, Pelland resumed her dominance, starting the game with two kills and throwing two aces into the mix, carrying the Rams to another win.
With two game wins each, the match went to the fifth and final game. That’s when Nelson and Pelland entered into a killing duel. Pelland fired one down to give the Rams a 12-11 advantage. Nelson smacked one to the floor for the next point to tie the teams at 12. With her arm winding up like a windmill, Nelson again showed her ability to find open spots on the court and tied the game at 13. Nelson then emerged as the duel’s winner, adding one more kill to her hit list and giving the Titans a one-point advantage strong enough to build on for the win.Coal Ridge came away as winners of the match, but the game’s spotlight remained on its two biggest stars – athletic spikers whose passion for the game shines through in their story-telling facial expressions and abilities to rally their respective squads.
It was moments like these that proved why Pelland and Nelson were recently named to the Class 3A Western Slope League volleyball first team in a vote by league coaches. Pelland and Nelson were both backed up by impressive supporting casts this season, each having a teammate receive honorable mention. Coal Ridge’s Kelly Romero received a vote, as did Ram Celeste Commings.Ali Browder and Shana Benson from regular-season league champ Gunnison were named as the WSL’s Player and Coach of the Year, respectively.In other WSL news, two area state cross county qualifiers were honored. Coal Ridge runner DaLin Murphy was picked to the boys’ first team. Grand Valley senior Katie Bryan earned honorable mention on the girls side.Post Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO
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Amid hundreds of cleat-footed little leaguers casually gathered along the first baseline, the glare of parents’ sunglasses deflecting the early morning sun, coach Troy Phillips began a trip down memory lane.