Tuesday, September 9, 2003
Emotions were running high in the Steamboat Springs High School gym Tuesday night as the Sailors and Moffat County Bulldogs clashed for the first time this season.
By the end of the night, Steamboat (5-2) had taken round one, but it wasn't easy.
Sailors coach Wendy Hall said a lack of intensity helped the scrappy Bulldogs (3-3) make a statement. Her team had to work hard to escape with a 25-15, 27-25, 25-23 win.
"We played as well in the first game as we have all year," Hall said. "We had their defense flustered and we were doing everything right. But then our intensity dropped, we started taking the things that went right in the first game for granted and we gave Moffat a chance to come back."
Hall said the much-improved Bulldogs were quick to take advantage of the Sailors' lapse.
Behind solid hitting from senior Brandie Telfer, who finished the night with eight kills, and Brittany Hutton, who had 10 kills, Moffat County took the early lead in the second game and gained some much-needed confidence.
"This is a big rivalry," Telfer said. "Steamboat is always so good at volleyball that we want to beat them so bad."
But the Bulldogs will have the wait.
Steamboat pulled things together and came back to tie the second game at the halfway point. The final stretch turned into a seesaw battle with the Sailors collecting the final two points to win 27-25.
"We made more mistakes than they did," Telfer said. "They weren't huge mistakes, but that was the difference in the match."
Senior Hannah Gary netted 12 kills to lead Steamboat's offensive effort. Junior Kristyn Bradbury added seven kills and Stacy Cavanagh and Shelly Dunlop each had four.
Brynn Gotchey had 23 assists in the match, and Cavanagh came away with three huge solo blocks and one double.
Dunlop went 11-for-11, and Gary was nine-for-nine to lead the Sailors in serving.
"We've been on kind of a roller coaster lately. ... We are a very emotional team, so when we are on, we are really on, but when we get down, it's hard to get going again," Bradbury said.
That was the case in Tuesday's game against Moffat County, she said.
"We just told one another to play smart and make sure we kept making good passes," Bradbury said. "Luckily, we got the points when we needed them."
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