Sailors sweep versus Rifle |

Sailors sweep versus Rifle

Steamboat's Micah Feeley falls away after tipping the ball over the Rifle defense on Saturday. The Sailors didn't have any problems with the Bears, winning in three quick sets.
Joel Reichenberger

— Maybe it wasn’t the same kind of challenge physically, but Steamboat Springs High School volleyball coach Wendy Hall said her Sailors had a challenge of a different kind Saturday as they played at home against Rifle.

The challenge was to stay focused and play well no matter the opponent, and in a quiet gym — compared to most home games, anyway — the team took care of business, winning in three sets, 25-13, 25-9, 25-14.

“They were businesslike with their game today,” Hall said. “We had to create our own energy on the floor, and we did that.”

The game was a rare break between highly competitive matches in the deep Western Slope League. Rifle is 1-11 after the loss.

Steamboat didn’t let down, getting powerful performances from a handful of its top hitters. Jenna Miller and Hayley Johnson racked up 10 kills apiece, while Maritza Wiedel and Micah Feeley had six each.

“It was a real solid offensive day,” Hall said.

The key, senior Maddie Labor said, was not getting caught up in the oft-lopsided score or the one-win opponent.

“We really kept the pressure on them, especially with our serves,” Labor said. “It’s easy with a team like that to try to rack up your stats, but we really trusted in our defense and our offense to get us points rather than rely on one person.”

The win sets Steamboat up for a huge match Thursday at home against Battle Mountain, another of the top teams in the league. The Sailors won the showdown at home a year ago in four sets and would love nothing more than to once again defend their home court.

“That’s a huge one,” Labor said. “It’s going to be a fun one, too.”

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email or follow him on Twitter @JReich9

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