Sailors volleyball back on the court after short offseason |

Sailors volleyball back on the court after short offseason

The Steamboat Springs volleyball team is returning to the court this fall after playing last season in the spring. (Photo by Shelby Reardon)

It seems like just yesterday that the Steamboat Springs volleyball team was competing in regionals. The Sailors fell in back to back regional games on May 1, just over three months ago.

Normally, when the team gathers again it’s been the better part of a year since they last competed.

“In some ways it’s kind of good. We’re not very rusty,” said Sailors head coach Wendy Hall. “In a way, I think it’s a little bit challenging because they didn’t come back as fresh, and as excited, and as motivated. I was feeling it in me too.”

When the team played a few short months ago, they had to wear masks and perform in front of a small crowd. They are hoping to have more of an audience this fall.

The spring season was incredibly successful for the Sailors, who were No. 19 in the state and advanced to regionals. A upperclassmen-heavy 2021 team hopes to get back there.

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“We have a lot of players here that I definitely see some potential in, but it might take a little more time,” Hall said. “We’re trying to be patient with where this team is going to be now, versus where they’re going to be at the end of the season. I think we need to keep an eye on the big picture.”

The Sailors haven’t discussed goals, but senior libero Lauren Fullerton thinks regionals is a reasonable aim. Fullerton is one of seven seniors and a handful of varsity returners. Hall said having her back in such a key position has been critical. She provides stability and leadership for the less experienced player on defense.

“I’m trying to include everybody more to get more of that volleyball community,” Fullerton said. “I want to be someone they look up and want to play with and play at my level.”

Also returning is setter Dani Weber, who got some time last year. Seniors Sophie Diehl and Mackenzie Cuevas are also back this year, as is junior Tya Drennan, who was the young gun on the squad last season.

Despite her lack of experience Drennan was a threat to teams thanks to her height. Now that she’s equipped with confidence as well, she’ll be an even more dangerous player at the net.

“Last year as a sophomore I was the youngest person on the team so I was new and shy around everybody,” Drennan said. “This year, … I’m going to take on a fiercer role on the court and just be more physical and be more upfront. I know I have the skills.”

With a strong core, the Sailors are confident they can pose a threat on the Western Slope and potentially get to regionals. Fullerton is most looking forward to meeting Battle Mountain, a typically tough team.

Fullerton is impressed with how competitive the team is. Teams can have talent without having the drive to win. This team wants to win.

“We’re all super close knit and kind of like family,” Fullerton said. “In years passed we’ve been like that as well, but I feel like this year’s a little different. … I think everyone enjoys being around each other.”

Steamboat Springs Volleyball Schedule

Aug. 24 - at Moffat County, W 3-0 (25-19, 25-19, 25-20)

Aug. 26 - vs. Middle Park, W 3-0 (25-16, 25-15, 25-18)

Aug. 31 - at Soroco, L 3-1 (25-22, 18-25, 24-26, 23-25)

Sept. 3-4 Glenwood Springs Tournament, 3rd of 11

Sept. 14 - at Eagle Valley, L 3-1 (25-23, 16-25, 25-22, 25-23)

Sept. 16 - vs. Battle Mountain, W 3-1 (25-23, 25-18, 19-25, 26-24)

Sept. 18 - at Thornton Tournament

Sept. 21 - at Glenwood Springs, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 1 - at Summit, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 8 - at Palisade, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 9 - at Central Grand Junction, 1 p.m.

Oct. 14 - vs. Glenwood Springs, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 19 - vs. Eagle Valley, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 21 - at Battle Mountain 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 30 - at Aspen, 2 p.m.

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