Sailors open weekend strong

Solid team serving helps team finish home games on top

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It was important to the members of the Steamboat Springs girls volleyball team Friday night that they got off to a good start in the squad's final home stand of the season.

Thanks to powerful hitting from Hannah Gary, who finished the night with 17 kills, and solid team serving, Steamboat did just that.

"These are our last home matches of the season," Steamboat coach Wendy Hall said. "The seniors and everybody else wants to make sure that they have a good feeling about playing in our home gym when this weekend is over."

Steamboat was feeling pretty good Friday after handling Palisade in three games, 25-17, 25-16 and 25-21.

Gary led the team in kills but got help from Kristyn Bradbury with nine, Stacy Cavanagh with eight and Shelley Dunlop with three. Tina Roberts had two kills in her first start this season. As a team, Steamboat only missed two serves in 74 attempts.

Hall said she was pleased that the Sailors won, but was slightly concerned with the team's lack of focus in the second game of the night.

Palisade jumped out to an early lead in that game, and Steamboat trailed most of the way before tying the score at 19.

"We didn't come out focused in that second game," senior setter Brynn Gotchey said. "We didn't turn it around until we got a pep talk from Wendy."

Hall said the team's inability to stay focused has been a problem at times this season. Until the team is able to overcome those lapses, she said it was going to be hard to beat top teams such as Glenwood Springs.

"We are still working on the mental part of our game," Gotchey said. "Physically we know we can play with anybody, but we can't lose our focus like we did tonight."

Steamboat will play its final regular season home match against Delta today. The varsity is slated to begin at 1 p.m. at the high school.

To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209

or e-mail jrussell@steambotpilot.com.

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