Steamboat Springs Against the talented Palisade Bulldogs (9-2 in league, 13-3 overall), Steamboat Springs volleyball coach Wendy Hall thought her team put together one of its best defensive efforts of the year in its match Friday night. Despite tough play, the Sailors fell short, losing in four games, 25-16, 25-12, 20-25, 25-17.
Bulldogs coach Steve Hell-mann said the first game was closer than the score indicated, with the game fixed at 14-13 before Palisade pulled away with a 19-13 lead.
In game two, Hellmann said his team jumped to an early lead behind the offensive play of Megan Bosch, who led the Bulldogs with 20 kills.
Hall said Steamboat was able to put together a complete game in game three, making big plays and "taking some steam away from them." The Sailors came back, down 17-19, to win the game, 25-20.
Katy Gary led the Sailors with nine kills along with seven from Natalie Nichols. Hall pointed out six of her players' perfect serving performances and credited Lauren Marias for stepping in to help with the Sailors serve-receive and Lizzie Stoll for leading the Sailors in digs.
"Steamboat was digging our lights out," Hellmann said about Steamboat's 50 digs.
While Palisade was able to keep rallies alive, too, Steamboat had trouble finding open spots on Palisade's side of the floor, as the Bulldogs played stingy defense, winning some of the longer rallies.
In the deciding fourth game, Hall said Steamboat's solid blocking and defense made the Bulldogs adjust to focus on tipping the ball over their blockers, catching the Sailors off-guard often enough to seal the win with a 25-17 victory.
Happy to get one game from the team occupying second place in the Western Slope league, the Sailors, now 4-6 in league, will take on rival Delta and Olathe today.
- To reach Dave Shively, call 871-4253 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org