Steamboat volleyball falls in districts |

Steamboat volleyball falls in districts

— The most frustrating part, Steamboat Springs High School volleyball coach Wendy Hall said, wasn’t that it all fell apart. It was that it all fell apart so fast.

Her Sailors looked as though they were in prime position to advance from their pool at the six-team district tournament Saturday in Eagle Valley after winning their opening set in three dominating games.

It all fell apart after that, however. The team never looked as strong and didn’t win again. Steam­­boat’s season ended in a tiebreaker game loss to Palmer Ridge.

“I don’t know what happened,” Hall said. “We had a 30-minute break after that first match, and it was like a flip just switched in the girls. The kids were focused and we were right where we needed to be to have a really good day of volleyball. Then, I don’t know what happened.”

Just how drastic the difference was for the Sailors was evident in the last game against Palmer Ridge. Steamboat had beaten that same team to open the tournament, 25-18, 25-14, 25-14.

Then, the Sailors were strong and powerful, focused and disciplined.

In their second match, they couldn’t take a game off Cor­tez and fell in three.

Just one game would have pushed Steamboat to the top of the pool and allowed it to advance to the semifinal round. Instead, the Sailors were left to face Palmer Ridge again in a one-game playoff.

“We were never in that game,” Hall said. “It was the same team we beat, and they handled us. It was very disappointing and heartbreaking for the seniors.”

It wasn’t a matter of quitting, Hall insisted.

“We fought hard,” she said. “Palmer Ridge picked up its game tremendously. They made fewer mistakes and set their offense up more consistently. But we weren’t forcing them to play a whole lot of defense, like we had the first time. They turned the tables on us.”

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