Steamboat Springs Sailor coach Wendy Hall was a little nervous heading into Saturday's league game against Rifle.
Hall said her teams traditionally don't play well during the homecoming week, with all of the off-court distractions.
Even with the dance just hours away, Steamboat was able to defeat the bears in three games, 25-18, 25-23, 25-15.
"To come off of this week with two wins is huge," said Hall, whose team beat Glen-wood Springs earlier in the week. "I don't know if they were motivated to get back to the dance, or if they were motivated to play volleyball, but it worked."
After struggling with four straight losses earlier in the year, the Sailors now have won two straight matches against league opponents. The win improves the Sailors to 4-5 in league play. They next play at Palisade on Friday.
Hall said a big difference in the game against Rifle was the ability of the Sailors to effectively pass the ball. The trio of Lizzie Stoll, Kacey Bull and Katy Gary were 45-of-47 in passing. With passing like that, Hall said things set up well for the Sailors.
"It's key in setting up our offense and getting the other team off their serve," Hall said. "I think it's one of the most important things to be able to control the server-receive portion of the games."
Offensively, the Sailors were led by Gary's 11 kills. Erin Gleason added seven, while Stoll had six. Shannon King had 28 assists.
With more than half their season done, Hall said she is pleased with the way the team has progressed throughout the year.
"Last week, we had a really tough week," she said. "To turn it around this week is a good step in the right direction. I think we can have a really nice second half of the season. I really feel optimistic."
- To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org