Titans looking ahead to another successful fall season
The 2015 season was a very special one for the Coal Ridge Titans girls volleyball team under first-year head coach Aimee Gerber, who moved up from an assistant position the year before to steer the ship.
The Titans, who had just two seniors, including standout star middle hitter Kaitlyn Detlefsen, rolled through the regular season of the 3A Western Slope League without dropping a league game on their way to a 20-7 record that included an impressive 16-match winning streak that stretched from Sept. 24 to Nov. 7 — a span of 45 days.
Behind Detlefsen, junior’s Nicole Mooney, Dana Kotz and Kaitlyn Harlow, as well as impressive sophomores Santana Martinez and Emily Wright, the Titans were clearly the best team in the league and one of the best overall teams on the Western Slope throughout the volleyball season.
Now, with Detlefsen off to the University of Northern Colorado, Harlow will have to step up in a big way as the No. 1 middle hitter on the 2016 team, while Mooney and Kotz will look to continue their steady play for the Titans.
Should Coal Ridge pick up where they left off in 2015, a third straight 3A Western Slope League title and yet another state playoff berth for the powerful New Castle program.
“It’s going to be a total team,” Gerber said. “I definitely expect to be fighting for the league title once again this year, and I want to see us host regionals again. We have a very tough schedule this year with us dropping out league play to once throughout the season. We added a lot of state qualifying teams, so it’s going to be a tough schedule for us, which makes for a tougher year for us.
“But I’m looking for a lot of team cohesion, because it’s going to take everyone on the court to contribute this year.”
Head Coach: Aimee Gerber, second season
Last season: 20-7, 7-0 3A Western Slope League, won regular season league championship and league tournament championship; won regional playoff title and advanced to state tournament in Denver
Key Returners: Nicole Mooney, Sr., OH; Dana Kotz, Sr., S/RS; Kaitlyn Harlow, Sr., MH; Emily Wright, Jr., L/DS; Santana Martinez, Jr., DS/OH; Cassie Greene, Jr., OH; Kara Morgan, So., OH
Much the like girls volleyball team at Coal Ridge in 2015, the boys soccer program had an outstanding season as well, rolling through the competition game after game, reaching the final of the 3A state playoff before falling to Fountain Valley, 2-1.
Now, with another core group of experienced Titans returning for a shot at a return trip to the state playoffs and a hopeful deep run, Coal Ridge is gearing up for another strong season.
However, the Titans under head coach Michael Mikalakis lost an astounding 11 seniors from last year’s team, so it won’t be easy early on for the boys in blue.
Head Coach: Michael Mikalakis
Last season: 12-6-1, 6-1-1 3A Western Slope League, lost to Fountain Valley in 3A state championship game
Key Returners: Carlos Ponce, Sr.; Luis Galaviz, Sr.; Josh Fulk, Jr.; Ezequiel Contreras, Jr.
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The Rifle and Glenwood Springs girls tangled on Tuesday night at Glenwood’s Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium in a 4A Western Slope League contest that carried major implications in the conference standings.