Sailors slide past Tigers

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Hayden volleyball coach Becky Burdick came into Monday night's game against Steamboat's junior varsity team with high hopes.

But it took less than 45 minutes for the Sailors to dash those hopes and send the Tigers home on a disappointing note.

"I have a great team," Burdick said after the match. "This was just a bad day."

The Tigers had problems stopping Steamboat's Shannon King in the first game as she served 12 straight points en route to a 25-5 win.

"I was pleased with the way our team played tonight," Sailor coach Susie Ritter said. "They came out and dominated this match -- it's the first time they've done that in a really long time."

Ritter got outstanding play from middle blockers Augusta Nelson and Nicole DuBord. The Sailors did the rest from the service line.

The Tigers put up more of a fight in the second game behind the play of Lauren Branstetter, who finished the night with four kills; Jessica Martin, who finished with three kills; and Emily Whiteman, who finished with two kills.

But it would not be enough to force a Game 3 against Steamboat's junior varsity.

Then the Sailors collected several key points down the stretch to win the second game 25-19 and sweep the Tigers in the two-game match.

"I thought they might be intimidated because we were playing a varsity program," Ritter said. "But they didn't seem to be."

The victory improves the JV squad's record to 13-4 for the season. The Tigers are 2-10 overall and 1-5 in league play with two matches remaining.

"We just didn't play to our ability tonight," Hayden junior Alicia Hall said as she left the gym. "We will be pumped up to play Soroco tomorrow. It's a league game, and we all want to win it."

Hayden travels to Oak Creek to face the Rams at 4, 5 and 6 p.m. today. The Tigers will be back home Friday for the final matches of the season against West Grand at 4, 5 and 6 p.m.

Steamboat's freshman team defeated Hayden in three games Monday. The Sailors lost the first game 25-23, but rebounded with wins in the final two games, 25-13 and 15-9.

-- To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209

or e-mail jrussell@steamboatpilot.com

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