The Steamboat Springs volleyball team wrapped up its regular season during the weekend with a four-set loss to Glenwood Springs and a four-set win against Rifle.
It was a case of the Sailors playing excellently and poorly in less than 24 hours, Steamboat coach Wendy Hall said.
In the highly anticipated rematch between Steamboat and Glenwood, the Sailors lost the first two games before rallying to win the third and nearly winning the fourth. It was the first time since August the second-ranked Demons lost a game.
"I really thought that if we would have won that fourth game, who knows what would have happened in the fifth," Hall said. "The first and second games they dominated. We were tight and making errors. Then we really started seeing everything and were making good adjustments. It was really exciting to see them play at that level. We haven't been there all year."
The atmosphere at Chavez Spencer Gym in Glenwood had a playoff feel. There were no empty seats, and it was difficult to hear people speaking, Hall said. On Thursday, the Demons used their home court to help capture the outright league title, finishing 12-0, while the Sailors (15-4 overall) ended up second in the Western Slope at 10-2.
Steamboat rounded out its regular season against Rifle on Friday. Hall said it was obvious her team struggled against the Bears, particularly in comparison to the well-played match against the Demons the previous day.
"According to Rifle's coach, they played their best match of the season," Hall said. "We had trouble adjusting to the speed of the game. After a high-powered match-up against Glenwood, we had trouble reading what was going on in Rifle. I think they caught us on our heels."
Glenwood defeated Steamboat 25-18, 25-17, 20-25, 25-23 on Thursday. Steamboat defeated Rifle 23-25, 25-23, 25-23, 25-22.
As the Sailors spend the week preparing for districts, Hall said she hoped her team remembers the level of volleyball it is capable of playing -- evidenced in the match against the Demons -- rather than how it closed the regular season against the Bears.
"They can take it as far as they want to go when they play at a level like they did in Glenwood," Hall said. "I hope they took away some confidence. The key this time of year is consistency."
Steamboat heads to Mountain View High School in Loveland for this weekend's district volleyball tournament, the first of two steps en route to the state tournament. The top two teams from the eight-team district advance to the regional tournament Nov. 11.
Steamboat is in District 4 with Mountain View, Hinkley, Widefield, Elizabeth, Berthoud, Centaurus and Harrison. Mountain View won the Skyline league, earning the right to host the district tournament. Steamboat and Hinkley finished second in their respective leagues, while Widefield finished third in its league. The other four teams in the district finished fourth or lower in their final league standings.
Steamboat opens pool play at 4 p.m. Friday against Berthoud.
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