‘They just kept coming’: Steamboat volleyball triumphs over Battle Mountain
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Ahead of the fourth set between the Steamboat Springs High School volleyball team and Battle Mountain, the massive student section cheered, “I believe that we will win.”
With a 2-1 set advantage, the Sailors took an early 7-2 advantage in the fourth. Battle Mountain called a timeout, during which “Don’t Stop Believin” played. The whole gym sang along.
All that belief powered Steamboat to a 3-1 win on senior night, Tuesday, Oct. 22, at Kelly Meek Gym.
That confidence, assuredness and grit is something head coach Wendy Hall has been trying to instill in the team all season.
“They absolutely had it tonight,” Hall said. “If they didn’t have the confidence they were gonna close the deal, you didn’t see it on their face.”
In honor of senior night, Steamboat Springs setter Jordan Walker started with her fellow seniors on the floor. She hardly starts, but it was a good thing she did.
Steamboat led 26-25 over Battle Mountain, and Walker stepped back to serve. Three touches later, the Huskies returned with a hit to the middle of the floor, but Walker was right there. She lifted the ball with her finger tips, and junior Jadyn Robson passed to senior Annmarie Hackworthy on the left side.
The red-headed outside hitter slammed the ball into the hands of Huskies junior Drea Pederson. When the ball dropped and hit the floor, it sent the Sailors flying into the air like the most lopsided see-saw ever. The hit earned Steamboat a 27-25 set-one win.
“I felt really confident, really prepared,” Walker said. “I’ve been practicing pretty hard, so that I can play in a game. I just kind of felt it all come together. At the beginning when we were warming up, I cannot thank (senior) Lauren Eck enough for showing me how to play defense. It’s been really awesome.”
In set three, junior Emily Schneider replaced Walker on the floor, and the Sailors offense picked up the pace following a 25-16 loss in set two. Schneider used a crafty tip and a block with junior middle Aliyah Reimer to build a quick 8-3 advantage. The Huskies clawed back, keeping the game close from a tie at 12 to a tie at 20, but the Sailors won out 25-21.
In the most dominant set of the night, Steamboat won the fourth 25-17 to end the evening.
Through the back-and-forth, Battle Mountain junior McKenzie Clyncke remained a constant. Her swing was steady, and if it didn’t earn an instant kill, it sent the Sailors reeling and out of whack for a few touches.
When she took to the bench, sophomore Karol Loera took over, putting on a kill clinic from the left side.
“Both my outsides had decent night,” Battle Mountain head coach Jason Fitzgerald said. “We were good at times. We were very much a moment team tonight and not a whole picture team. … We brought every trick we had, and they just kept coming.”
Tuesday, Oct. 22
Steamboat Springs 3, Battle Mountain 1
BM 25 25 21 17 — 1
SS 27 16 25 25 — 3
Friday, Oct. 18
Palisade 3, Steamboat Springs 0
SS 13 12 28 — 0
P 25 25 30 — 3
Saturday, Oct. 19
Steamboat Springs 3, Rifle 0
SS 25 25 25 — 3
R 9 16 12 — 0
Steamboat Springs volleyball schedule
- Aug. 29: at Moffat County, W 3-0
- Sept. 5-7: at Glenwood Springs Tournament, 2-2
- Sept. 14: at Silver Creek Tournament, 1-3
- Sept. 19: at Eagle Valley, L 3-0
- Sept. 21: at Glenwood Springs, L 3-0
- Sept. 27: vs. Palisade, L 3-1
- Sept. 28: vs. Rifle, W 3-0
- Oct. 1: at Battle Mountain, L 3-1
- Oct. 3: vs. Summit, W 3-0
- Oct. 10: Eagle Valley, L 3-2
- Oct. 12: vs. Glenwood Springs, L 3-0
- Oct. 18: at Palisade, L 3-0
- Oct. 19: at Rifle, W 3-0
- Oct. 22: vs. Battle Mountain, W 3-1
- Oct. 24: at Summit, W 3-0
- Nov. 1: at Grand Junction, W 3-0
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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