Hitting on all cylinders, Sailors eye league title | SteamboatToday.com

Hitting on all cylinders, Sailors eye league title

Senior night win sets up league title tilt

Steamboat senior Jenna Miller swings for the ball Tuesday in a three-set win against Summit.
Joel Reichenberger

— Among the problems with the Steamboat Springs High School volleyball team’s Thursday league-championship-deciding trip to Battle Mountain is the issue of distractions.

The Huskies home court in Edwards is more than simply loud. Steamboat coach Wendy Hall said when her team made the trip last year, three tennis balls were rolled from the crowd onto the court in the middle of the match.

It was distractions of a different sort that threatened to derail Steamboat’s championship dreams Tuesday. It was senior night in Steamboat Springs, and not your average one. The Sailors said farewell to 10 players Tuesday, not only the bulk of the team, but surely the backbone of it and certainly the heart.

If the team can handle Thursday’s hurdles as well as it handled Tuesday’s, it may be in pretty good shape.

Steamboat was on point, in gear, tuned up and turned on Tuesday as it blasted Summit in three sets, 25-8, 25-7, 25-20.

“I was a little worried about all the peripheral distractions. Senior night is always special, and you always hope your best, but you don’t often do,” coach Wendy Hall said. “Tonight, we did that, and that’s really what creates the wonderful memories.”

The win sets the Sailors up for one of their biggest matches in a decade: A 6:30 p.m. Thursday showdown with Battle Mountain in Edwards.

The Huskies are currently one of three teams tied for second place in the Western Slope League, all a game behind the Sailors. A Steamboat win would lock up the league championship. A loss would throw the team into a tie with Battle Mountain, Eagle Valley and Delta, with the tiebreakers not favoring the Sailors.

“We’re expecting a fight,” senior Jenna Miller said. “We’re looking forward to it.”

Steamboat got 13 kills from Miller on Tuesday, 11 from Hayley Johnson and eight more from Maritza Wiedel.

Maddie Labor had 15 digs, including one out of this world, diving, one-handed specimen in the first set that set the tone for the night.

Steamboat rarely let the ball hit the floor on defense and did plenty of landing the ball on the floor on offense.

“We were so caught up in senior night and playing for each other,” Miller said. “We played for the person next to us tonight.”

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