Devils in five: Eagle Valley edges out Steamboat volleyball
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Every time Marcada Baker serves, she taps the floor with her left toe.
The Steamboat Springs High School junior then steps with her left, right, then left again, launching vertically into the air with grace before swinging and arching the ball over the net.
After drilling home a kill to put her team up 17-16 in the fourth set against Eagle Valley, she stepped to the service line. Six serves later, two being aces, her team led 23-18. Her consistency helped the Sailors to a 25-20 win to force a fifth set.
The final frame, while close in the end, was all Eagle Valley, which won 15-12 to take the 3-2 victory Thursday, Oct. 10, from Kelly Meek Gym.
“I don’t want them to be deflated because I think we were right there,” Steamboat Springs head coach Wendy Hall said. “We’re really close to accomplishing what we set out to do in the second half of this league season. I do believe that we’re improving at a faster rate than any team in the league. We can’t let this deter us.”
Eagle Valley barely came away with a win in the opening frame. They led 23-20, but a slick tip from Steamboat senior Sarah Hannaway closed the gap and tied the game at 23. The Devils closed it out, earning the 25-23 victory.
In set two, Steamboat led early, but were contested the whole way. As a ball that brushed the fingers of junior Jadyn Robson hit the floor behind her, the Steamboat junior shook her head. The point put Eagle Valley within two, 15-13 in the second set. Every point was precious. She was right to be concerned. Four serves later, the Devils caught up, tying the game at 16.
Despite a rising pair of Devils in front of her, Steamboat senior Annmarie Hackaway slammed a kill into their hands, rather than trying to avoid them. The ball fell between the nets and the Eagle Valley players, giving Steamboat its greatest advantage of the set at 21-18. They kept pushing, using a kill from Robson to lead 24-19.
The Sailors struggled to finish the frame. Hall called a timeout as the Devils crept closer, 24-22. When the teams returned to the hardwood, Eagle Valley reacted poorly to a tip by Steamboat senior Sarah Hannaway, giving the girls in red the 25-23 win to tie the night at one set each.
Hall was frustrated in how her team played at the end of that set.
“You can’t make these changes with a switch on the wall,” she said. “It is a process, and we’ve got to stay confident that the process is working. We just have to be patient.”
Carrying momentum from their set two win, Steamboat broke away in the third until they held a 12-9 advantage. Then things fell apart. Quickly.
Eagle Valley strung together seven straight points to take a 16-12 lead. The Devils held the Sailors to just four more points in the frame as a kill from junior Sophia Rinn sealed the 25-16 victory.
“It’s nice to see us compete with these teams, but in the same breath, if we have a chance to win a match, we want to be able to step up and do that,” Hall said.
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
Eagle Valley 3, Steamboat Springs 2
EV 25 23 25 20 15 — 3
SS 23 25 16 25 12 — 2
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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