Steamboat volleyball teams back home to face Battle Mountain
Steamboat Springs — Nobody would blame Steamboat Springs High School volleyball coach Wendy Hall or her players if they have been a little home sick the past few weeks.
“I think there is a sense of urgency in practice these days,” Hall said. “I think we are moving in the right direction, but we are still making way too may unforced errors, which may be due to our lack of experience. If we are able to start cleaning up those mistakes I think we will see that in our results. We are doing a lot of things well … we are hustling, and we are playing hard.”
After opening the season with a win at home against Moffat County Aug. 25, the Sailors have played the last eight matches in tournaments on the road. The team went 3-5 during that stretch, including a five-game losing streak that spanned two tournaments.
But Steamboat Springs junior and team captain Micah Feeley believes the lessons learned during the Sailors’ most recent road trip has not reflected in the team’s overall record.
“The thing about playing in tournaments is that you play so many games in a span of two days,” Feeley said. “Sometimes it’s hard to play all those matches and make sure that you give it your all every game.”
She said the Sailors had a chance to play some top-level teams, and the Steamboat players have been able to raise the level of play with every match.
“It was amazing just to play those games,” Feeley said. “It brought us to our highest level, and we were able to hold our ground and just kept getting better. We really came together as a team.”
She isn’t sure what it means for the team as it prepares for back-to-back home games against Battle Mountain Thursday and Glenwood Springs Saturday.
“We are going to have to want it,” she said of winning the matches. “It doesn’t matter if we are at home or if we are away. We have to be focused and play as a team.”
The good news is the league opener will be played at home, and for the first time in several weeks, Steamboat can expect a friendly crowd seated in the stands.
The varsity team will square off against Battle Mountain (1-3) at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. The C-team will take the court at 4:30 p.m., and the junior varsity team will follow at 5:30 p.m.
The team will also take the court in the Kelly Meek Gym at 1 p.m. Saturday when the Sailors face Glenwood Springs (5-2) at home. The C- team will kick things off at 11 a.m. followed by the junior varsity at noon.
“I’m very excited to be able to play in our own gym,” Feeley said. “It’s going to be great having everybody in the school there to support us.”
Despite Battle Mountain’s early-season record, Hall is expecting a fired-up team for Thursday’s game. Steamboat beat the Huskies twice last season, including a 3-1 victory in Edwards that determined the league champion.
“I’m expecting a tough challenge,” Hall said. “We beat them in their gym last year, and we haven’t done that in years.”
Hall said, historically, Battle Mountain always has a strong team, which is supported by a strong club system and a tradition of winning. She knows the Huskies will be up for the game against Steamboat.
“I know our players are always excited to play at home in front of their fans,” Hall said. “We will have to minimize the distractions this week and make sure we are focused on the court. We played really well the last time we were home against Moffat County, and we are hoping that will continue when we get back on our home court.”
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