Hayden netters lose momentum | SteamboatToday.com

Hayden netters lose momentum

Luke Graham

— Momentum can be a funny thing.

Take, for example, Hayden High School volleyball team’s 25-23, 25-14, 25-13 loss to North Park on Thursday.

The Tigers entered the game riding a five-game win streak, had already beaten the Ladycats in the three games earlier in the season, and were arguably the hottest team in the Class 2A Western Slope League.

Momentum seemingly should have been on Hayden’s side. But as it goes in all sports, a team is only as good as how they play that night.

“We came out flat and lost that team attitude,” Hayden coach Stephanie Davis said. “We just had a hard time staying in the system.”

While the scores won’t show it, Hayden (8-5 overall, 3-2 in league play) had ample opportunities to win all three games.

Recommended Stories For You

In the first game, Hayden took a 23-22 lead after two kills by Elaine Cromie and one by Holli Salazar. Three unforced errors later, the Tigers found themselves down a game.

Then in the second, Hayden jumped out to leads of 4-2 and 6-3 before everything fell apart.

And in the third – a game that particularly symbolized the night for the Tigers – Hayden fought back from a 5-0 deficit to take a 7-5 lead before North Park scored 20 of the next 26 points to seal the match.

Davis said she couldn’t come up with a reason why the team was flat, especially considering how well the Tigers had played in their previous five matches.

One possible reason for the letdown might be because this Hayden team is still searching for an identity.

Last year the Tigers relied on a core group of seniors, Davis said. This year – with a relatively young team – Davis said she’s still looking for that stopper.

“We’re still finding that identity,” Davis said. “So far, we have been able to finish matches. (North Park) probably came in a little up after we beat them in three earlier this year.”

The loss should serve as a pivotal moment in the season, Davis said.

With four league games remaining – including a 6 p.m. match today in Grand Valley, Davis said the good thing is Hayden still controls its own destiny as the district tournament approaches.

“We have to bounce back and bring it,” she said. “I hope it serves as a wake-up call. Wining is a lot more fun than losing.”