Demons and Tigers and Devils, oh my: Steamboat Volleyball prepares for home stand
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Steamboat Springs High School volleyball team is about halfway through the season and while their record may not show it, they’re capable of defeating some of the better teams at their level.
The Sailors are 5-9 overall and are 1-4 against 4A Western Slope opponents. They have seven conference games remaining this fall to move up in the rankings to keep playing in November.
“You look at our record, and we look like we’re really struggling, but I think if you saw where we were at the very beginning of the year and how we look now, we’ve made incredible strides in our level of play,” Steamboat volleyball head coach Wendy Hall said. “I see that just getting better with their confidence coming up. There’s nowhere to go but up because we have the foundation.”
Hall said the girls lack a ferocity and edginess that she’s been trying to instill in them through more competitive drills in practice. Junior outside hitter Marcada Baker thinks that’s starting to show on the court.
“Even during the warmup, we want to win the warmup,” Baker said. “Even though there are no points involved with that, we still want to do our best in everything we can, so we can better ourselves in any way possible.”
So, what’s next?
Steamboat is gearing up for a three-game home stand beginning on Thursday, Oct. 3, against Summit. A week later, the Sailors will host Eagle Valley and on Saturday, Oct. 12, they’ll welcome Glenwood Springs.
Steamboat Springs volleyball schedule
- Aug. 29: at Moffat County, W 3-0
- Sept. 5-7: at Glenwood Springs Tournament, 2-2
- Sept. 14: at Silver Creek Tournament, 1-3
- Sept. 19: at Eagle Valley, L 3-0
- Sept. 21: at Glenwood Springs, L 3-0
- Sept. 27: vs. Palisade, L 3-1
- Sept. 28: vs. Rifle, W 3-0
- Oct. 1: at Battle Mountain, L 3-1
- Oct. 3: vs. Summit, W 3-0
- Oct. 10: Eagle Valley, L 3-2
- Oct. 12: vs. Glenwood Springs, L 3-0
- Oct. 18: at Palisade, L 3-0
- Oct. 19: at Rifle, W 3-0
- Oct. 22: vs. Battle Mountain, W 3-1
- Oct. 24: at Summit, W 3-0
- Nov. 1: at Grand Junction, W 3-0
The Sailors have yet to see Summit this year.
“They’re a big tipping team, and their setter dumps a lot,” senior defensive specialist Lauren Eck said. “We just need to be ready on defense and just be scrappy. We’re pretty scrappy team, so just keep that up.”
Both the Devils and Demons have defeated Steamboat 3-0 this year, with the Glenwood Springs matchup being the more competitive of the two.
The Demons squeaked out of set one with a 30-28 victory and again won narrowly 25-22 in set two. The final frame wasn’t as close, with the Sailors falling 25-16.
“The main thing is just to make sure we are playing every point with focus and determination and hustle,” Hall said. “And brush off the mistakes a little quicker.”
- 1. Glenwood Springs 9-3, 5-0
- 2. Palisade 8-4, 5-0
- 3. Battle Mountain 7-2, 4-2
- 4. Summit 1-5, 1-3
- 5. Eagle Valley 5-5, 1-3
- 6. Steamboat Springs 5-9, 1-4
- 7. Rifle 3-11, 0-5
As of Wednesday, Oct. 2, Glenwood is the top team in the Western Slope with a 5-0 conference record and a 9-3 overall record. The team is ranked 13th overall in the 4A RPI standings, while Steamboat sits at 49th.
Strength of schedule helps in the standings, so if the Sailors can defeat Glenwood and Eagle, or even compete against them, they can move up.
What have they done recently?
Over their last three matches, the Sailors went 1-2 against conference opponents. On Friday, Sept. 27, Palisade came to Steamboat and won 3-1. The next day, the Sailors won 3-0 at home versus Rifle. On Tuesday, Oct., the Sailors traveled to Battle Mountain where they fell 3-1.
Palisade, although a loss, was one of, if not the best game the Sailors have played this season. Following a 25-14 loss in set one Steamboat came back to win set two 26-24. The Bulldogs won the next two for the victory, but they were close: 25-22 and 25-23.
The Sailors first conference victory came on Saturday over Rifle when they won by set scores of 25-20, 25-12, 25-18. It looked like the momentum would continue at Battle Mountain as the girls in red won the opening frame 25-19. However, the Huskies went on to tie it up with a 25-16 win in set two. The third could have gone either way, but fell in favor of Battle Mountain, 25-22. The fourth set was not as close, going to the home team 25-10.
“We looked really good against Palisade. We looked really good (Tuesday) night pretty much through three sets and we looked really, really bad in the fourth set. So we kind of had a setback,” Hall said. “I think we’re all really frustrated about that, but we all need to realize it’s a process, but there’s also some urgency right now.”
Friday, Sept. 27
Palisade 3, Steamboat Springs 1
P 25 24 25 25 — 3
SS 14 26 22 23 — 1
Saturday, Sept. 28
Steamboat Springs 3, Rifle 0
R 20 12 18 — 0
SS 25 25 25 — 3
Tuesday, Oct. 1
Battle Mountain 3, Steamboat Springs 1
SS 25 16 22 10 — 1
BM 19 25 25 25 — 3
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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