Steamboat, Soroco volleyball teams compete in regionals this weekend
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — In November 2019, the Soroco High School girls volleyball team got what is thought to be its first-ever taste of regional competition. The No. 27 Rams lost both games, though, ending its season.
This year, Soroco is ranked No. 10 among 2A teams and is heading back to regionals, this time in Greeley on Saturday, to face No. 7 Dayspring Christian Academy and No. 18 Rocky Ford.
With nearly the same roster, the Rams are looking to improve on that performance and be one of the eight regional champions to advance to the state tournament.
“The biggest thing is a lot of them just grew and matured. Going into last year never being on that front before, there was inexperience,” said Soroco head coach Jeannie Jo Logan. “It’s kind of like a whole new team this year. Their maturity has grown, their mental capacity has grown. Their desire to be in the position we are in is definitely there as well.”
There are a few differences in the volleyball tournaments this year. Rather than 36 teams making the regional cut, there are just 24, and instead of 12 teams advancing to state, just eight move on.
The other big difference is that most teams are going in knowing nothing about their opponents. With no tournaments allowed, teams only competed against nearby schools. In past years, Soroco has seen Dayspring Christian Academy at the Simla Tournament but didn’t get that chance this year.
The Rams have been a top-10 team in the MaxPreps and CHSAA rankings all year but never cracked the top five. They competed in the strongest league in the state, as the Western Slope produced four top-10 teams. However, whenever the girls in maroon faced those teams in Meeker, Vail Christian and Vail Mountain, they lost.
No. 10 Soroco at 2A Region 7
vs. No. 18 Rocky Ford
vs. No. 7 Dayspring Christian Academy
No. 19 Steamboat Springs at 4A Region 6
vs. No. 6 Mead
vs. No. 11 Skyview
Still, their confidence is not compromised.
“We’ve come up against some challenging teams, and unfortunately, haven’t walked out the victor,” Logan said. “So, having that discussion, we definitely have the skill and ability to beat those teams, it’s just what do we need to do to push beyond that as well?”
In the 4A tournament, No. 19 Steamboat Springs High School is traveling to Mead on Saturday where the team will face the No. 6 host team as well as No. 11 Skyview.
Other than scouting, Steamboat has no experience with those teams this year with no tournaments allowed. That doesn’t change the tactic of focusing on what the Sailors do best, though.
“I always think your best bet is you take what the strength in your game is. You go with that,” said Steamboat head coach Wendy Hall. “You’ve got to be able to count on the things you’ve been doing well all year.”
Hall thinks the Sailors need to be a little more assertive, though. While they make few errors on offense, they also earn few kills. So, a little more aggression on offense and while serving would do the ladies in red some good.
If they were to advance, the Sailors play in a single-elimination state tournament. Usually, the state tournament has a consolation bracket and a third-place match, allowing teams to play two or three games.
“They’re trying to make it safer,” Hall said. “I appreciate the fact that they’re having the state finals. It’s really great, especially for our senior kids.”
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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Battle Mountain is always one of the most competitive opponents for the Steamboat Springs girls soccer team. The Sailors always look forward to seeing how they stack up against the Huskies.