Sailors dominate Demons' tourney

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The Steamboat Springs High School volleyball team knocked off five opponents over the weekend en route to winning the Glenwood Springs Tournament.

"It was a good weekend for us," Sailors head coach Wendy Hall said. "Our younger players really came through and we built a lot of confidence during the matches."

The Sailors handled Fruita without starting setter Maggie McElhinney on Friday night, 15-11, 16-14. Hall said her team looked a little off balance without McElhinney, but she was happy with the way some of the younger players came through.

Steamboat Springs hosts conference rival Rifle Tuesday. The match will be the home-opener for the Sailors. The freshmen start things off at 4 p.m. and the junior varsity follows at 5 p.m. The varsity squads will take the floor at 6 p.m.

The Sailors kept the momentum rolling on Saturday, topping Eagle Valley 15-8, 10-15 and 15-9.

Steamboat Springs also beat Abraham Lincoln High School, 15-1, 15-6, to earn a berth in one of two semifinal matches.

The Sailors, who were seeded No. 3 headed into the semifinal against Glenwood, came out red hot and won in two games, 15-0 and 15-11.

"We couldn't do anything wrong," Hall said. "It was a great feeling."

Jessica Johnson and Jessica Fritz each had five kills. Lauren Dargevics and Bayli Stillwell added three kills and Katie Carter contributed two.

Hall said the key to the Sailors' win, however, was strong serving. Johnson went 17-for-17 and McElhinney was 8-for-8 with an ace. As a team, the Sailors were 42-for-43 from the serve line.

Steamboat secured the title in the final match of the weekend against familiar foe Eagle Valley. The Devils also had survived pool play and had beaten Lutheran to get into the finals.

In the championship match, Steamboat beat the Devils for the second time in the tournament, 15-6 and 15-11.

Fritz had 11 kills in the contest and Johnson chipped in nine. McElhinney recorded four kills from her position as setter. She also had 25 assists.

"We just kept getting stronger as the weekend progressed," Hall said. "I think we were playing our best in the semifinal and final matches."

The Sailors are hoping to stay hot for a match with conference rival Rifle at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Steamboat Springs. Hall is expecting a real battle.

"Rifle was ranked No. 6 in the state and we were ranked No. 9 going into last weekend," Hall said. "There is no doubt that this will be a quality match."

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