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  • Michael Groselle

Vail King of the Mountain Recap

The annual Vail King of the Mountain Beach Volleyball Tournament did not let down this year! Vail, Colorado is one the most beautiful places in the country.

Big shout out to Volleyball of the Rockies (VOTR) for running a fun and exciting three day event. Every single game was meticulously planned and they kept to schedule.

This tournament I ran with my friend and training partner Nate Adams. We were seeded 6th overall and we were determined to beat our seed. We came out the gates hot on Friday winning big in both matches to end the day 2-0.

Going into Saturday we felt really good about our odds to take this tournament down. We ended up playing "The Kids from Cañon City" Drew Hoover and Christian Hoover, we knew it was going to be a battle. The first two sets we strongly decided by one team or another (21-17, 21-14). Going into the third set we were feeling juiced since we had just won the second set. Unfortunately, The Kids brought it. They came out hot, produced some good reals out the gate and took us down (15-11). First loss in the books, now it was time for the losers bracket.

Going into Sunday we knew it was going to be tough to win the tournament, but we were both in great shape and playing five matches in one day was do-able. Our first opponents (John Webber and Brad Johnson) punched us in the mouth quickly, taking the first set 21-15. We walked back to the players tent and told each other there is no way we are losing this match. I swear in the second set we must have sided out at 100% and got every single block and dig possible. We ended up taking that set 21-9. The third set was a back and forth battle that we ended up sneaking out 15-13, phew.

Next match against long time Colorado studs Mike Rhoads and Bryce Walsh. The first set was one of the cleanest games Nate and I played all weekend. We cruised through and took it easily 21-15. Foolishly letting off the gas we grinded back and forth to drop that set 21-19. It felt like deja-vu like we had been here before. We handled our business and played another smooth set to take it down 15-13.

We made it to the 5th place match and played local legends Dave Smith and Skylar del Sol. Nate came out the gate hot scoring every which way possible. Unfortunately, slowly but surely our opponents worked their ways back into the first set and took us down (21-19) and kept that pace going in the second set to win (21-15). It was a tough loss considering we battled so hard all day, but they did go on the win the tournament (CONGRATS DAVE AND SKYLAR!). I was able to take away some important lessons from this day. The first was you can't win a match on one point and you can't loss a match on one point. Next, playing with someone who shares similar core believes to you goes a long way to helping with team chemistry. Lastly, using timeouts to control the tempo of the game can be a huge tool in your back pocket. I am excited to get back to the lab again and keep training. Next tournament is with Jordan Gladstone in the Waupaca AVP Next Gold, see you guys there!

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