In rivalry matches, the wins always mean a little more, and the losses sting worse, as the Hayden and Soroco volleyball teams showed Tuesday night.
After winning back-and-forth matches, 19-25, 25-21, 25-22, 25-20, the Tigers celebrated wildly, and the Rams were left to console each other.
"It's Soroco," Hayden junior Chelsea Fry said. "It's always a bigger match. We had already beaten them once this year. After the first game, we said no matter what happens we are going to (win). We had to win for the seniors."
And on parents night in South Routt, the Tigers prevailed in four tough games.
The win assured Hayden of finishing no worse than seventh in the Western Slope League, but it didn't look as if Hayden came to play at the outset of the match, dropping the first game by making a high number of unforced errors.
"They kind of freaked out at the beginning," Hayden coach Becky Burdick said. "It takes them a little while to calm down. ... I'm really proud of them."
In Game 1, Soroco jumped out to an 18-7 lead before a kill from senior Margie Jones sparked a comeback for Hayden. Fry served nine straight points as the Tigers closed to 18-17. Soroco senior Karli Babcock got a kill to give the Rams the serve back, and senior Kalvert Shiner served two aces to give Soroco a 21-17 lead it didn't relinquish, eventually winning by six.
In the second game, it was Hayden that pulled ahead early behind Soroco mistakes and kills from Tigers senior Hannah Williams and junior Mariah Doolin. A kill from Rams senior Kimberlie Williamson and three great serves from freshman Glenda Long gave Soroco the lead back, 10-9. The Tigers pulled in front again, 17-16, off a Rams error and didn't trail again, winning 25-21.
Game 3 was closer from the beginning. Sophomore Jessica Martin came into play the back row for Doolin and promptly served an ace. A kill from Jones gave Hayden game point, 24-19, before Soroco came back to within 24-22 on a kill from Williamson and a solo block from Babcock. The game ended, however, when the official whistled Soroco for being out of rotation.
The fourth game also was close at the beginning, with the teams exchanging the lead several times before the Tigers and senior Jamie Waugh took control of the match. Waugh had four kills to help Hayden cushion its one-point lead, and senior Alicia Hall served five straight to give the Tigers a 17-10 lead. The Rams came back to within 20-24 but couldn't prevent Hayden from winning.
Hayden closes the regular season with a league match at 6 p.m. Friday in Hayden against West Grand.
Soroco finishes the regular season at 6 p.m. Friday in Rangely.
-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org