Spikers eye pair of wins | SteamboatToday.com

Spikers eye pair of wins

Christine Metz

— This weekend the Steamboat Springs girls volleyball team will enter its first of seven straight league games.

The undefeated Sailors (7-0) travel to Delta for a 7 p.m. game tonight and will continue league play with a 1:30 p.m. away game against Palisade Saturday.

With a goal to win this year’s league title, Sailors coach Wendy Hall said the upcoming matches are critical.

“To win the league it’s important to win every league game that comes up,” Hall said.

Once again, the Sailors are going into uncharted waters as they face the Delta Panthers who have a new coach.

This year’s coach is replacing Katie Meek, one of Hall’s former players whose team lost to the Sailors in both matches last year.

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Known for its rowdy fans who have been taken out of games, Delta can be a tough gym, Hall said.

But, Sailors outside hitter Allison Griffing said the team is preparing for this weekend the same way it has prepared all season.

“We’ve just got to take it like any other team, nothing less, Griffing said. “We’ll just play hard.”

On Saturday, Steamboat is facing Palisade, which beat the Sailors in their second league match at last year’s homecoming game.

The Sailors went on to beat the Bulldogs in the district tournament.

“It means that we’re ready to play big,” Hall said. “We’re ready to win.”

Steamboat is going into this weekend with a 2-0 win against top-ranked Middle Park. Last Saturday, the Sailors came out for their first home game to decisively beat a team the Rocky Mountain News had ranked as the No. 8 3A school in Colorado.

This week, Griffing said Steamboat had been practicing its serve consistency, which was one of its biggest weapons against Middle Park.

“Serving, we’re working on that,” Griffing said. “(Serves) haven’t been at the consistency that they need to be.”

So far, the Sailors have not just remained undefeated in match play, they have not given up a game either.

With players who have size like middle blockers Katie Carter and Lizzie Sack and outside hitter Bayli Stillwell, this is one of the tallest teams Hall has had in 14 years of coaching. Hall said they are also athletic.

“Athletic and tall is a nice combination,” Hall said of her team.

Though Hall is taking games one at a time, she said with practice they should only get better.

“We’ve got an opportunity to play some great volleyball at the end of the year,” Hall said. “But we have a long season. We’re taking it a week at a time.”