Steamboat Springs It was hard to hear inside the gym after Monday night's high school volleyball match between Steamboat and Moffat County, but it wasn't the home team making all the noise.
The visiting Bulldogs upset the home team in front of a huge crowd at the Steamboat Springs High School gym, taking a hard-fought five-game victory. Moffat County fans didn't let the fact that they were in Steamboat keep them from making noise - Bulldog supporters cheered loudly behind the Sailors bench all night.
"We dug deep because we wanted this really bad," Moffat County's Amy Dilldine said, above the screams and cheers in the background.
She credited the win to hard work and a little bit of luck with the coin-flip that decided which side of the court the Bulldogs would be on for the final game.
"We think this side is unlucky," Dilldine said of one end of the court. "So we wanted to make sure we were on the other side for the final game."
Dilldine might be superstitious, but her logic wasn't too far off. It seemed like every time the two teams switched courts in Monday's Western Slope battle, the momentum also swung.
Steamboat handled the Moffat County team in the first game 25-21, and the third game 25-13. But when the teams switched, things seemed to sway the other way, with the Bulldogs collecting a 25-15 win in the second game and a 25-15 win in the fourth game. The Bulldogs also won the toss and ended up on the winning side for the final and deciding game. Steamboat jumped out 5-1 in that game, but in the end, the Bulldogs battled back to win the game 16-14 and take the match.
"I expected to have a tough match against Steamboat on their home court," Moffat coach Brianna Montgomery said. "The rhythm was a little weird. The scores were real drastic, which I didn't really expect."
After the match, Steamboat's Lisa Floyd said she was disappointed with the result, but not with the effort of her teammates.
"I don't think we played bad," Floyd said. "Everyone went out there with their hearts and kicked butt : things just didn't go in our favor that last game. I think we got a little tight in that last game, and we let it get away from us."
The Bulldogs were led by Dilldine, who finished with eight kills and nine blocked shots. Teammates Kari Griffin and Angie Charchalis both had seven kills in the victory. Markie Workman had 12 blocks and nine digs.
Floyd led Steamboat with 11 kills, Maggie Kriz added nine, Katy Gary had seven, and Heidi Lord finished with six. Colleen King had 33 assists, and Lizzie Stoll was 15 for 16 passing and a perfect 20-for-20 serving.
"I think we played very well tonight, but hitting errors and our failure to cover the tip killed us," Sailors coach Wendy Hall said. "We made mistakes at critical times in this match, and that was the difference."
The loss drops the Sailors into second place in the Western Slope standings, behind undefeated Battle Mountain. Steamboat is currently tied with Moffat Country with a 4-2 record.