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Searching for rhythm

Volleyball team wins, despite poor performance

Melinda Mawdsley

— Coach Wendy Hall shook her head in disbelief.

Statistically, the third-ranked Steamboat Springs volleyball team (12-1) was almost perfect, but on the court Hall didn’t feel comfortable about the overall performance, despite a 15-9, 15-7 win over Montrose.

“I guess your expectations get high with a team like this,” Hall said. “There are always things we can do to improve.”

Hall said she felt Steamboat’s defense struggled for all of Game 1 and portions of Game 2 Saturday, preventing its offense from establishing the rhythm it deems necessary for success.

A quick glance at the stats, however, revealed the Sailors’ offense was very much the dominant force it has grown accustomed to being.

Throughout the two games, Steamboat attacked 51 times, committing just six errors an 88 percent efficiency rate.

The only serve Steamboat missed was a Katie Carter jump serve toward the end of Game 2, with the home team up 11-4.

Senior Lizzie Sack said the team couldn’t believe it committed just six errors.

“That was off the charts,” she said.

But she also agreed with Hall.

The reason no one thought the team was doing well statistically was because the defense didn’t seem to have it together on the court.

Hall thought it was particularly evident when Steamboat was serving.

Except for the opening of the second game when senior Abby Fritz reeled off nine straight points the defense struggled at times to return the ball.

Fortunately for Steamboat, the Indians had no answer at the net. An occasional block or kill was met with a celebratory huddle, but any momentum Montrose seized on a sideout, Steamboat outside hitter Katie Carter was able to steal right back.

Carter recorded a game-high 18 kills nine in each game going over, around and sometimes through a double block.

“We knew Katie Carter would be tough,” Montrose coach Shane Forrest said. “We knew we had to try to stop her.”

Stillwell had seven kills six in the first game. Sack had three, while Allison Griffing notched two. Fritz had five kills in Game 1 before serving nine straight points to open the second.

“I think we were a little shell-shocked and let them get away early,” Forrest said.

To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208 or e-mail mmawdsley@steamboatpilot.com


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