The temperature in the gym in St. Clare in Edwards when Vail Christian hosted Soroco on Thursday was just fine, thank you.
"Much better today," Saints coach Cathy Alexander said. "Although if you'd ask them, they'd still say it's hot."
Allow the Saints volleyball team a moment of humor. When the Saints and Rams first met earlier this month at the Grand Valley Tournament, Vail Christian was suffering from the heat of the gym in Parachute until Alexander pointed out that the Soroco bench didn't exactly have its own air-conditioning unit.
Whether it was a cooler gym or the mark of an improved team - likely more of the latter - the Class 1A Saints dispatched the visiting Class 2A Rams, 25-23, 25-11, 25-21, to run their record to 6-1.
"We knew coming in that the tempo would be a little bit slower and that they do different things," Alexander said. "We prepared so that we would run to our huddle, run to our end line, try to keep our pace up, making sure we stayed focused. Last time, we kind of lowered our level of play. I thought they prepared themselves well."
It showed with dominating net play.
"The biggest thing we need to work on is covering their blockers," Soroco coach Kim Reeves said. "This is the toughest blocking team we've played against."
That would be a nod to the likes of Molly Brooks, Kristin McGinty, Kelly Bowles and Allie Parker. Parker did a splendid imitation Thursday night of her older sister, Jackie, right down to wearing No. 6.
"I did that purposely so I could carry on the tradition for Jackie," Allie said. "I think we played a lot better this time, but also I think Soroco played a lot better, so it was good competition."
"She had a fabulous game tonight," Alexander said. "She's been working real hard on her hitting, and keeping her arm up so she can hit down. She can jump out of the gym."
Vail Christian's next game is at Lutheran Parker on Saturday at noon, while the Rams head to Meeker tonight.