Friday, September 15, 2000
Steamboat Springs After the Sailors hosted two top Western slope opponents in two days, some volleyball fans might have expected to see signs of fatigue or frustration on the face of head coach Wendy Hall.
But this was not the case.
The only thing on Hall's face as she walked off the court following the Sailors' 15-5, 15-2 win over Montrose was a smile that stretched from ear to ear. Her team will be off until Sept. 21, when they will travel to Palisade. Steamboat's next home match will be Sept. 23, when Delta comes to town.
"This is by far the best we have played this year," Hall said. "Our blocks dominated the net and our offense was just unstoppable."
The feelings of happiness were widespread among the Sailors players and coaching staff following the game.
Jessica Johnson spent a few minutes after the match thanking just a few of the fans who showed up covered in face paint, funny cloths and Sailors' red and white to cheer their team on to victory.
"This match helps us get to where we want to be," Johnson said. "We have had some mental lapses at times this season. Our goal tonight was to go out and focus on the match and not making any dumb mistakes."
Johnson also credited her team's recent up swing to the younger members of the team who have been steadily improving over the course of the season.
"Our sophomores are unbelievable," Johnson said. "I think our seniors have the drive this season, but we are going to need our younger players to play well if we want to win big matches."
The Sailors dominated Friday's match for most of the night. However, the Sailors had to wear down a scrappy Montrose in the early going of the first game.
After trading the first four points of the match, Montrose took a 1-point advantage, and the match seemed to draw to a knot.
It took eight servers before Steamboat could tie the score at 5 points apiece. The long stalemate seemed to take its toll on the Montrose players who never scored another point in the game.
"We had some problems scoring in the first game," Hall said. "But the key was that we didn't let them score either."
The Sailors sided out 22 of 29 times in the match and dominated the game in rout to the teams third-straight win.
Johnson had 10 kills, Jessica Fritz added seven and Katie Carter had four. Lauren Dargevics led the team in blocks with three. Maggie McElhinney added two, as did Bayli Stillwell.
McElhinney also collected 20 assists in the match and was 10-for-10 serving with two aces. Fritz anchored the Sailors defense going eight-for-eight passing serve with four perfect passes.
"I think our girls were a little intimidated by their big hitters," Montrose coach Shane Forrest said. "When that happens, you are dead in the water."
Forrest said her team was a little flat after losing a close match to Grand Junction Central last night. The five hour bus trip may have also taken some toll on her team.
"I don't want to use it as an excuse," Forrest said. "We gave ourselves plenty of time to get here and our players had plenty of time to rest. Their hitters just took it to use tonight."
The Sailors are now 9-1 on the season and 3-1 in the conference. Montrose, a team which is not a conference opponent, is 3-5 overall.
To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209 or e-mail email@example.com