Top 5 moments of the night between Hayden and Soroco volleyball

Eden Mayer, a senior on the Soroco High School volleyball team, seems to rise effortlessly when hitting the ball during a game in Hayden on Wednesday night.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today

A battle of Routt County is always fun, regardless of sport or how each team has played all season. On Wednesday night, the Soroco High School volleyball team traveled to Hayden Valley High School for their annual meeting. The No. 4 Rams defeated Hayden 3-0, but the sets were competitive and full of exciting moments.

No. 5: A Hayden rally

Ema Schlim, a junior on the Hayden Valley High School volleyball team, bumps the ball over the net during a game against Soroco High School on Wednesday night.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today

The Tigers have played from behind more often than not this year, but they haven’t gotten used to it. Hayden never gets complacent and always fights for the next point, never dismissing a comeback. The Tigers lost the first set 25-17, and were down 21-15 in the second set. A crafty tip from junior Ema Schlim and a block from Jenna Kleckler got the Tigers going again and brought the score to 21-17. Hayden powered through to a 25-19 loss that set. Hayden had mini runs in each set to keep the competition close.

“We always just try to keep a good attitude, we celebrate every little thing, even if it’s a mistake,” Hayden junior Tessa Booco said. “That lets everyone know that if you make a mistake, it’s OK. That’s what made it up, was our attitude. We kept it going, we kept the same pace, we knew it was going to be a tough game, but that didn’t let that stop us.”

No. 4: A stunning serve

Soroco High School teammates watch senior Irene Hoff hit the ball over the net during a volleyball game in Hayden on Wednesday night.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Irene Hoff kicked off set three with an ace. The Soroco senior is incredibly consistent and dangerous from the service line, and she’s not alone. The Rams take pride in their ability to serve well no matter who is next in the rotation.

Soroco head coach Jeannie Jo Logan said her team focuses on serving, and other fundamentals each night, but Hoff is definitely a stand out.

“Irene, she’s got it figured out,” Logan said.

No. 3: Bennett in the back

Hayden senior Jillian Bennet, well known for her net presence, was a force in the back row for the Tigers. She got the dig on a powerful hit from Hoff, then saved a strong hit from senior Sophia Benjamin. The Tigers got the ball back over the net, where the Rams poorly deflected the ball out of bounds. Hayden earned the point thanks to Bennet’s work on the backline and earned its first lead of the night, 4-3 in the second.

No. 2: The Rams recover

Soroco High School senior Peyton Parker slams the ball by a blocker during a volleyball game in Hayden on Wednesday night.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today

In the middle of a small Tigers run in the third set, Soroco senior Peyton Parker got injured. The Tigers turned a 14-10 deficit into a tie at 15. Parker returned and, that same play, senior Eden Mayer slammed the ball to the floor to regain a 16-15 lead. Hayden led 19-16 at one point, but the Rams remained calm, and Hayden started to make mistakes, again. An out-of-bounds hit and deflected ball tied the game at 20, then gave Soroco a 21-20 lead.

No. 1: ‘Let’s finish it’

Hayden called a timeout in the third set after going down 22-20. A Ram said, “Let’s finish it,” as the teams returned to the floor. That’s exactly what they did. Hayden made it difficult, but Soroco won 25-23, boosting the team’s record to 14-3 on the year.

Benjamin said Soroco doesn’t underestimate any team, and she was glad they didn’t do so with Hayden. They’ll have to do the same against Plateau Valley and De Beque this weekend. With two games left in the regular season, the Rams are in a great spot to host a regional game and take a shot at state.

Soroco 3, Hayden 0

S 25 25 25

H 17 19 23

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