Hall earns 500th win as Steamboat volleyball sweeps Summit
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Steamboat Springs High School volleyball head coach Wendy Hall knew exactly how many wins she had going into her team’s game against Summit on Thursday, Oct. 3. A few years ago, she had to pin down the number and, ever since, it’s been ticking closer and closer to 500 until it sat at 499.
“I knew it. I didn’t want to talk about it,” Hall said. “I just feel like it’s the wrong focus right now. I didn’t want them to feel any extra angst or pressure like that. It’s not about me. It’s about their season.”
After the Sailors swept Summit 3-0, Steamboat Springs High School Athletic Director Luke DeWolfe announced the win was, in fact, Hall’s 500th. The crowd and the team erupted. Unable to contain their pride and excitement, many players leapt off the floor with glee and moved to Hall to hug her.
Senior Annmarie Hackworthy said she had no idea Hall was so close to 500 wins, but admitted it should have been on her radar since she was aware how long Hall has been coaching.
“If someone has 500 wins, that’s a long time and that’s so much that they’ve put into the community and into every single one of these girls, whether you play freshman, JV or varsity,” Hackworthy said. “It’s been really cool playing with her. I was new (freshman year) and I didn’t know anybody, and this volleyball program just took me in. It is a family.”
The milestone took 31 years as head coach to accomplish, making Hall just one of five volleyball coaches in the state to accumulate 500 wins, according to chsaa.org. She is just the fourth in Colorado to win all 500 at one school.
Hall, who played for Steamboat when she was in high school, was an assistant coach for two years before taking over as head coach. A tenure of that length, let alone one filled with so much success, is rare.
“It’s a huge honor, there’s no doubt about it. It speaks more to my longevity than anything,” Hall said. “I think there are very few coaches that stay as long as me.”
Steamboat came out guns blazing in the home game against Summit. They catapulted to an 11-1 lead before securing a 25-9 opening set victory.
The dominance carried into the beginning of set two as the Sailors put up six straight points, most coming via Tigers errors. About halfway through the set, Steamboat held an 11-6 advantage.
With junior Mya Nicholds at the service line, Summit scored five straight points to tie the set at 11. Hall called a timeout, and Steamboat earned the next two points and led the rest of the way. Summit kept it close, but the Sailors won out 25-21.
Set three played out similarly. Steamboat gained an early 7-1 lead, but the Tigers tied it at 12. A kill from Summit senior Taryn Wade gave her team a 19-16 advantage, prompting a Steamboat timeout.
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
Determined to end the night in three sets, the Sailors rallied. A pair of powerful kills from junior Marcada Baker closed the gap and brought the game to 20 all. An awkward but successful tip from Hackworthy sealed the 25-21 set win and 3-0 sweep.
“The set was super tight, and I was like, ‘I know I’m not getting there.’ I knew if I swung at it, it’d be in the net,” Hackworthy said. “I just was like, ‘OK, let’s go,’ trying to put it up there, and it worked.”
Hall said the level of play her girls displayed that night was incredible and some of their best work on the court.
“I was almost more emotional about them playing as well as they did and kind of having a breakthrough and being able to close the deal in three and coming from behind in the third,” Hall said. “Not doing what our pattern has been and not having the confidence to come back and close the deal. That didn’t happen last night. I feel like it was a huge breakthrough for them.”
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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