Win, loss for Steamboat |

Win, loss for Steamboat

Sluggish Sailor volleyball team beats Rifle, falls to Fruita

Lizzy Stoll keeps the ball in play with a save during the Sailors' match-up with the Fruita Monument Wildcats on Saturday.
Tyler Arroyo

— The girls on the Steamboat Springs volleyball team need to find the right fuel.

After a close league win Thursday at Glenwood Springs, Sailors coach Wendy Hall said her team had finally found some fire, establishing a winning mentality. But in their two Saturday games against Rifle and Fruita Monument, ones they split with a win and a loss, respectively, Steamboat was merely fanning dying flames, looking for a spark.

Steamboat came out a little flat in its morning match against Rifle, a team that nicknames themselves, “the germ,” knowing teams fear losing to them, not having won a varsity match in the last two years.

Rifle coach Geneva Farr said her team uses its lack of expectation to play without fear or regret and they certainly surprised the Sailors in the first game of the match, a 25-18 Steamboat win that Hall said was much closer than she would have liked.

“They had more energy and we kind of stepped down to their level and didn’t play to our full ability,” Sailors middle blocker Heidi Lord said.

The Bears’ energetic play continued to shock the Sailors in the beginning of the second game behind the play of sophomore Sandy Samson, who tallied eight blocks and eight kills in the match.

As Rifle’s pass sets began to fall apart, the Sailors jump-started their blocking with Erin Gleason’s 9 blocks.

“We lost our cool and they pounded us,” said Rifle’s Cindy Piazza.

Hall said she was proud to see her team pull together to win the second and third games, 25-17 and 25-14 as Lizzie Stoll led the Sailors with seven kills, but that’s where her pride for the day ended.

Although it was a league win, Hall said she expected more from her team, especially in their second game of the day, a three-game 25-15, 25-17, 25-13 loss to Fruita.

“It was sloppy,” said Sailors outside hitter Katy Gary of the harsh adjustment from “the germ” to a solid, 7-1 5A opponent. “After playing against a lower team we had to step up like five notches.”

After jumping out to a 6-5 lead with a kill and a block from Lord, the Sailors struggled to read the Wildcats’ hitting from Kaylee Dollerschell and Carley Westerson – a pair labeled by Fruita coach Amelia Conner as her “one-two punch,” that scored 20 kills together in the match – and dropped behind to an 18-10 deficit they couldn’t recover from.

The Sailors hung with the Wildcats in game two, coming as close as 17-19, but fell behind late with miscues and botched plays at the net, unable to match the rally-saving digs of Westerson and Maia Sadler.

“We couldn’t get the fire today : we all made mistakes,” said Gray, who led the Sailors with nine kills in the match, characterizing Steamboat’s problematic third game loss, putting them at 2-2 overall, 2-0 in league.

Hall said that while the loss was inexcusable for her, the important factor is that her team will find that fire, determining that the game was also inexcusable to them before their next tough pair of home league games 6:30 p.m., Friday against Palisade and 1 p.m., Saturday against Delta.

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