Soroco wins long battle at the net with Hayden |

Soroco wins long battle at the net with Hayden

HAYDEN — Both Hayden High School and Soroco High School volleyball teams are looking for seasons more successful than the last at the net.

In the Routt County rivalry game at Hayden High School on Tuesday, Aug. 28, the two battled it out in a five-set match. The Soroco Rams would get off to a rough start but emerge victorious in a 12-25, 25-23, 20-25, 25-21, 15-6 match.

At the start of the first set, junior Joey Deckler and sophomore Gracie Day couldn’t be stopped. Deckler’s strong blocking, coupled with hard hits made the Rams scramble. Day found spots on the other side to make it interesting, like a sharp cross hit or a tip.

Soroco started to gain traction with a triple block at the middle, trailing 15-6. Senior Katie Olinger added a pair of aces, but the Rams were unable to catch up as the Tigers took control of the set 25-12.

The second set saw a struggle on serve receive and defense for the Tigers. The Rams started to showcase their big-time hitters, freshman Sophia Benjamin, junior Tyla Johnson and sophomore Makinley Parker. Parker poured on the hits with a loud force, while Benjamin and Johnson challenged Deckler at the net. The Tigers wouldn’t let up. Senior Thalia Carbajal slid across the floor for a pancake save to keep the Tigers in contention 21-20.

But serving and hitting errors put them behind 24-21. A controversial tip call kept the Tigers alive for one more point, even though the crowd believed Deckler had touched a ball headed out in her battle at the net. The Rams came away with a 25-23 victory on the next point.

The third set was more contested, tying three times before the Tigers pulled away on a five-point run to make it 17-12. The Rams fought back but were unable to make up the deficit, falling 25-20.

Soroco took an early lead, making it 17-13 late in the fourth set. Day got creative at the net, choosing carefully where to place her tips and hitting a roll shot deep the back court for three kills. Deckler complemented the net game with a block and a kill at left side to bring the Tigers within 21-19 of the Rams.

But defensive errors made the deficit too much to overcome. Hayden added two points once Soroco reached 24, making it 24-21, but a block sent the front row in a frenzy, and the Tigers fell 25-21 in the fourth set.

Soroco continued to ride its momentum in the fifth set with a 5-1 lead. The Rams capitalized on Tigers’ errors, keeping composure at the net behind a menacing blocking team in Benjamin and Parker. Benjamin added a kill to make it 9-3. Parker added a strong kill from the right side to make it 11-4 just before rotating to back row, and Day would counter to get the Tigers possession, 11-5.

The game would end on a shanked pass by Day, giving the Rams the victory, 15-6.

To reach Leah Vann, call 970-871-4253, email or follow her on Twitter @LVann_Sports

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