Tigers find second gear in 3-0 victory over Rangely

Senior Isabella Svoboda puts one down for a key point in the second set of a Hayden volleyball match against Rangely on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022.
Tom Skulski/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Every time a Hayden volleyball player steps onto the court this season, they do so with an intense confidence and infectious positivity. It is something the Tigers pride themselves in and something they use as fuel ahead of each match.

On Friday, Sept. 30, the Tigers welcomed Rangely to Hayden for a challenging in-league battle. Despite every Panther effort, Hayden powered its way to a 3-0 victory. 

Head coach Becky Copeland pointed to her team’s attitude as the reason they were able to pull off such a dominant win against a strong opponent. 

“At the beginning of the season we decided that we wanted a good, positive atmosphere, win or lose,” Copeland said. “I give them all the credit because they come in here pumped, they’re ready to go.”

After taking the first two sets rather easily, the Tigers found themselves with a much tighter third set. Hayden gave up a five point lead, allowing the Panthers to crawl their way back and apply pressure. 

Attempting to get momentum back on her team’s side, Hayden senior Isabella Svoboda rallied and tried to keep them loose. 

“We just have to stay positive because sometimes that’s a struggle with mind games,” Svoboda said. “We’re trying to keep everyone positive and upbeat.”

Junior Jenna Kleckler looks on as her teammate, sophomore Olivia Svoboda passes from the back row during a Hayden volleyball match against Rangely on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022.
Tom Skulski/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Despite the volume of Rangely’s excitement in the set, Svoboda and the Tigers were able to refocus, put some balls down and ultimately take the set 27-25. 

Of Hayden’s eight wins this season, seven have come in straight sets. 

Copeland says a lot of it has to do with a bet made earlier in the year. She promised the girls if they take a game in three, they do not have to run during their next practice. 

Seniors Tessa Booco, left, and Ema Schlim jump to try and block a Rangely hit during a Hayden volleyball match on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022.
Tom Skulski/Steamboat Pilot & Today

While winning in three is great, Svoboda says the team finds most of its energy in home games and highlights the need to find that extra gear on the road. 

“We need to keep on going up and working on it,” Svoboda said. “We play better at home but need to try to get that mindset going when we have away games, especially if we make it to regionals.”

Hayden currently sits at 8-5 on the season and 4-2 in league play. The girls have eight matches remaining in the regular season, all against league opponents. 

“I feel like we’re pretty confident,” Copeland said. “They have got a good group of girls who work well together and I just show up and throw balls at them and they make it work. I feel good, I think they feel good, and we’re ready to move forward.”

Hayden 3, Rangely 0
H 25 25 27
R 20 18 25

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