Steamboat volleyball downs Rifle

With core of five seniors, Sailors dispatch Bears easily in three games

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— The girls on the Rifle volleyball team thought they could keep the momentum rolling after taking a talented Moffat County team to five games Thursday.

Instead, they ran into a well-oiled Steamboat Springs offense unwilling to give up a game on its home court Saturday.

Anchored by a core of five seniors playing in front of home fans for the final time, the Sailors easily dispatched the Bears, 25-4, 25-23, 25-13.

One of those seniors, Heidi Lord, started things off strong by putting away five of her team-leading 12 kills to kick off the first game.

In what Steamboat coach Wendy Hall called, "a pretty flawless first game," Sailors outside hitter Lisa Floyd helped extend a 9-4 lead with a 15-point serving streak as Maggie Kriz and Lord combined for five kills to close out the first game.

The Bears (0-16 overall) put together their best volleyball of the day in game two, when they combined for eight kills, with Abbey Schmidt knocking down a pair and Sandy Samson adding another to tie the game at 12. The Bears even went up 14-12 on some Steamboat errors, but three Lord kills and solid serving from Kacey Bull sparked the Steamboat offense.

"We played a little sloppy in the second game and (Rifle's) game came up and put us on our heels," Hall said.

Rifle rallied back to 24-23 on three consecutive blocks from Schmidt, but Steamboat's Katy Gary smashed down one of her nine kills to end the game.

"Our second game went well, but even my senior setter (Kori Kosht) was saying that even when we were ahead, it just didn't feel like we were gelling," Rifle coach Geneva Farr said. "Steamboat is one of my favorite teams to play, watching the pretty sets they do and working together as a team."

Rifle had plenty to watch as the Steamboat offense worked together again in game three, dominating the net and capitalizing on repeat Rifle errors.

"They played us hard and gave us a game. We just lost our focus but picked it up in the third game," Bull said.

Hall was pleased to see her seniors finish their final home match on a high note. Now Steamboat (13-4 overall and 9-3 in league) hits the road for its final two league games, Friday at Palisade and Saturday at Delta.

- To reach Dave Shively, call 871-4253

or e-mail dshively@steamboatpilot.com

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