Thursday, September 29, 2005
Steamboat Springs Once upon a time, games against the Battle Mountain volleyball team were gimmies.
Those days are gone.
Behind coach Bryon Doyon and what he said has been "lots of work" from the Huskies players, Battle Mountain has taken down defending Western Slope League champion Palisade and perennial powers Glenwood and Steamboat Springs in the past three matches.
On Thursday, the Huskies beat the Sailors, 25-15, 25-18, 25-21.
But Battle Mountain isn't ready to talk about a league title. Doyon said it wasn't even a preseason goal for one of the state's best Class 4A teams.
"Goals have to be smart," he said. "Those are things we can't control. The ability to play is what we can control."
Right now, no one is playing better than Battle Mountain.
Led by 14 kills from junior Crystin Rodrick, 10 kills from junior Sofia Lindroth and eight kills from Nicole Penwill, who also had four blocks, the Huskies erased what was one of the better matches of the year for the Sailors.
Steamboat (4-4 overall, 3-3 in league) didn't have a lot of kills -- 13 total -- but its serving and defense was improved, and the intensity was there for most of the match. After losing the first two games by a combined 17 points, the Sailors were more competitive in the third.
After a Steamboat timeout, the Sailors scored three points behind two kills from senior Hestia Chase and a great dig from sophomore Lisa Floyd to make it 21-18 in favor of the Huskies. Battle Mountain closed out the match with four kills.
Steamboat was unable to practice most of this week because of the death of classmate and friend Adele Dombrowski, a 17-year-old senior who played volleyball for three years. Battle Mountain presented Steamboat seniors Chase and Tara King with a bouquet and a sign before Thursday's match.
"We played well considering the circumstances," Chase said. "Even though we lost ... we played well. Those few errors, we need to get rid of them."
Sailors coach Wendy Hall told her team she doesn't want them to accept losing.
"They are working hard physically in practice," Hall said. "They are not working hard mentally in practice. They have to learn things. We are behind there. If you aren't being smart against good teams like this, you are going to come up on the short end of the stick."
-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208 or e-mail email@example.com