Soroco's Jessica Rossi, left, hits the ball past Vail Mountain School's Taylor Washing, right, and Hannah McKeever, center, during their Thursday game in East Vail.

Dominique Taylor/Vail Daily

Soroco's Jessica Rossi, left, hits the ball past Vail Mountain School's Taylor Washing, right, and Hannah McKeever, center, during their Thursday game in East Vail.

Vail Mountain School spikers hold off Soroco

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The Vail Mountain School volleyball team, down a starter, Lizzie Pancrantz with the flu, staved off upset-minded Soroco, 25-22, 23-25, 25-18, 20-15, 15-10, on Thursday night in East Vail.

“I reminded them, going into Game Five, ‘You’re playing without one of your seniors,’” Vail Mountain coach Mike Garvey said. “I just said, ‘Hey, give her a phone call at home, saying you’ve won. That’s what she’s waiting for.’”

Truth be told, Pancratz wasn’t the only one under the weather. As the calendar hits October, the season is officially a grind. Whether it was the flu, a tough season or both, everyone in Vail blue or Soroco maroon was pounding away Thursday.

“It has been a tough season,” said Gore Rangers senior Stephanie Kohlhofer, who also has the bug. “But we just worked hard, and it paid off in the end, even though it took awhile.”

While it was a tough loss for Soroco, which is seeking its elusive first win, the Rams went to five games for the first time since Sept. 3, when it went up against Hayden.

“I’m proud. It’s really coming together,” Soroco coach Jeannie Jo Logan said. “We just have a few moments of lapses we need to clean up. That’ll push us over. They’re setting individual goals for games and they’re reaching them. They’re controlling what they can control. They’re really coming together. I’m extremely proud of them now.”

Vail Mountain pulled out the win with excellent contributions from sophomore Morgan Harty and Holly Parker.

“I think they’re doing great,” Kohlhofer said. “I’m really proud of them. They played (in the) development and JV (games), so they must have been really tired. They pushed through.”

And the seniors took over from there. Kohlhofer was a presence all night, as was Hannah McKeever. Vail Mountain senior setter Taylor Washing, as the night progressed, turned to them more and more, and they delivered.

Vail Mountain (4-5 overall and 3-2 in the 2A Slope) is in the middle of a marathon stretch. The Gore Rangers lost at Paonia on Tuesday night. After Thursday’s Soroco game, they host Rangely on Friday night and then head to West Grand on Saturday.

Soroco hosts North Park on Friday night.

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