Soroco volleyball takes home bragging rights after coming from behind to beat Hayden |

Soroco volleyball takes home bragging rights after coming from behind to beat Hayden

Soroco’s Charlee Veilleux jumps in the air as she celebrates the Rams’ 17-15 victory in the final game of Monday's volleyball match in Hayden against the Tigers. Hayden took an early 2-0 lead in the match but couldn't stop the Rams’ rally, which ended with a 3-2 win.
John F. Russell

— Monday night’s volleyball match in Hayden between the Soroco Rams and the Tigers had a little bit of everything and was exactly what fans have come to expect when these two schools take the floor.

"It took us a little bit to get going tonight, but we finally arrived and that's all that matters," Soroco coach Jeannie Jo Logan said of the match. "We played as a team and walked away with the win, and that's what matters in the end."

The Rams had to overcome a two-game deficit in a match that ended up stretching to five games. The contest featured numerous momentum swings and plenty of solid play on both sides of the net. But it was Soroco that headed home with bragging rights after earning a 3-2 win.

"It's always tough to lose a match like that," Hayden coach Dayna Hunter said. "Soroco has a good program, so for us to come out and fight like we did today was great. I'm absolutely pleased with the way our team played.

“We got a little rattled in that third game and took a little bit of a hit, but I could not have asked for them to play any better than they did,” Hunter added. “They were awesome."

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The Rams were led by Mattie Rossi who finished the night with 10 kills and seven blocked shots. Lauren Childers had five kills, and Danielle Villa and Bailee Boles added four each.

On the other side of the net, Hayden got a strong performance from freshman Joey Deckler, whose presence at the net, especially in the first two games, took the Rams out of their game. She set the tone with a couple of big kills and a couple of even bigger blocks as the Tigers rolled to a 25-14 win in the first game.

Deckler's teammate Darian Murphy gave the Tigers the momentum in the second game by helping her team open a 6-0 lead from the service line. The Tigers stretched that advantage to earn a 25-16 win in game two.

But the Rams never stopped playing and in the third game turned the tables on the home team.

"We came out with a vengeance in the third game," Rossi said. "We knew that this match was really important for our post season. We knew we had to win … we got off to a bad start but really kicked it in the last few games."

The Rams won game three 25-12 and then evened the match in the next game, holding off a late Tiger rally to win, 25-20.

The fifth set wasn't decided until the final few serves. The teams went back and forth before Soroco took a 14-13 lead. Hayden climbed back and led 15-14 lead. Needing only a single point to take the match, the Tigers couldn’t seem to find it against Soroco’s scrappy defense.

The Rams were able to score three straight points to win the game, 17-15, and the match, 3-2.

"I honestly feel like that was one of the best matches we have ever played," Deckler said. "We were all striving, and we really wanted to win it. But even though it didn't end up the way we wanted, the match still kind of worked out in our minds. It was fantastic."

The win improved the Rams record to 8-8 overall and 5-4 in league play as the Tigers fell to 2-6 in league and 3-11 overall.

Logan said the match could have big implications as the Rams look ahead to the playoffs. Nine of the 11 teams in the league will advance to the district tournament. The top seven teams will avoid playing in a "pig-tail" game.

Prior to Monday night's win, the Rams were sitting in the number seven spot a full game in front of Plateau Valley and a half game behind sixth place Vail Christian, which is 5-3. Because things are so tight, Logan said the game against Hayden was a must-win.

"There was a lot on the line," Logan said. “We are coming into the end of the season, and every match is important."

Tiger's coach Dayna Hunter agrees, and with just three matches remaining it looks like the Tigers will need to hold on if they hope to get a chance at the post-season. But on Monday night she was less concerned about the playoff picture and more impressed with the fight her team put up in the match.

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966