Steamboat volleyball hits critical stretch in season |

Steamboat volleyball hits critical stretch in season

Steamboat Springs hosts Delta, Palisade on back-to-back days

Luke Graham

— There is no denying what the Steamboat Springs High School volleyball team has to do in the next couple of days.

Steamboat, at 7-2 overall and 4-1 in the Western Slope League, welcomes Delta and Palisade for a pair of home games. Steamboat plays Delta at 6:30 p.m. today and Palisade at 1 p.m. Saturday. Both games are at Steamboat Springs High School.

The two games will wrap up the Sailors’ first look at every team in the league. So far, Steamboat’s lone loss came in a three-set sweep against Eagle Valley.

The Devils currently lead the league, and if the Sailors want to be part of that conversation come season’s end, it starts today.

“Obviously, you want to win every match at home,” Steamboat coach Wendy Hall said.

“Being the end of our league rotation here, it’s critical, I think, to get them both. But it’s a little bit of the unknown. Palisade has been playing well, and Delta gives us fits.”

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Unlike football, where coaches generally exchange film, volleyball is more of a feeling-out process.

Hall said the key, then, is to not focus so much on what the other teams do as much as what her team can do.

That starts, Hall said, with becoming mentally tougher. Although Steamboat was able to pick up wins against Moffat County and Battle Mountain last week, Hall said Steamboat almost let mistakes cancel out those wins.

Palisade always has been a team that relies on its defense and ball control, and Delta is a good blocking team.

Hall said although she has some familiarity with the two teams, a big part of potential Steamboat success during the two games will be making in-game adjustments.

Part of that relates back to the mental game and getting the Sailors not only winning, but also playing like they can.

“It’s not just coming out with a victory, but feeling like we’re on top of our game again,” Hall said.