Rams hope to piece puzzle together
Soroco seniors set on enjoying final ride
Oak Creek — Lucy Carlson knows you think she should play basketball.
At 6 feet, 1 inch tall, the Soroco senior would be the tallest girl on a team that expects to challenge for the state tournament, and friends, coaches and even family can’t help but wonder how she’d fit in with the Rams’ basketball team.
But, Carlson’s sport is volleyball.
“I like the strategy side of volleyball,” she said Friday night, brushing off the thought of basketball and focusing on what could be her last fling with volleyball. “I like to be able to see what I’m going to do before I do it, then to make it happen.”
She picked up the sport in seventh grade, the first year it’s offered in the South Routt School District, and since then, she’s played with a tight-knit but laid-back group of four other seniors who will play their last home match at 5 p.m. Saturday against Plateau Valley.
The team actually celebrated its senior night Friday, and the match mirrored those seniors’ careers, to some degree. There was some good and some not-so-good, a rollercoaster ride that ended up with a three-set Rangely victory, 25-21, 25-20, 25-16.
Coach Jeannie Jo Logan said the team’s focus came in, like when it bounced back from a 9-1 deficit to make the first set competitive, and the focus went out, like when it lost 13 of 15 points in the third set to spoil a strong start.
Mostly, though, Logan was sad after the match, reluctant to see a class that’s been the backbone of her program in her three years as coach graduate.
She knows them all, obviously, and well. Her own son, Eric Logan, is a senior, too, so she’s seen these girls grow up.
Carlson, she said, blossomed on the court two seasons ago into a towering force in the middle and in a way a coach could only ever hope for.
Briana Peterson missed two seasons with a knee injury, but is healthy this season and is summed up by Logan in a word: “Power.”
Kali Constine is the most vocal and, “willing to hit the floor before anyone else,” Logan said. Cala McCollum is quiet but consistent, a strong setter with quick hands, and Ashlee Gingerich “is our little go getter who picks everyone up,” Logan said.
“They’re just really neat,” Logan said. “They all bring something totally different, and they all have such good pieces to offer.”
Still, the challenge in the waning days of the season is the same as it’s been with this class since it played a nearly identical season a year ago — putting those pieces together.
The Rams are 9-8 and will figure into the middle of the district tournament next week in Paonia.
For some, the end of the volleyball season is still the start of the athletic school year. The end won’t truly come until the state track meet in May, with a highly anticipated basketball season unfolding in the middle.
For others, however, it all comes down to this, to Saturday’s home finale, then next week’s tournament. For Carlson, volleyball’s her sport, and she’s intent on pushing this season, with her classmates, as long as possible.
“We’ve shown in those moments when we’re up really high we can beat these teams,” Carlson said. “It just takes doing it … We have some work to do.”
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