Steamboat volleyball looks to establish itself with two-game home stand

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What: Steamboat Springs girls volleyball varsity matches

When: 5 p.m. today vs. Palisade, 1 p.m. Saturday vs. Delta

Where: Steamboat Springs High School, Kelly Meek Gymnasium

— The Steamboat Springs volleyball team had its first true test this week. However, it came after facing an opponent on the court.

An emotional loss to bitter league rival Moffat County on Monday left the Sailors looking for answers.

In practice Tuesday, head coach Wendy Hall saw a deflated team. So she took the team out of the gym and on a long walk to air grievances and to provide a fresh perspective. Since, she has seen the team "come back united again" on the eve of a crucial two-game home stand - first hosting Palisade at 5 p.m. today and then facing Delta at 1 p.m. Saturday - that will define Steamboat's place in the Western Slope League.

"This is our time to make up for Monday and get back on track," Steamboat opposite hitter Kacey Bull said before practice Thursday. "We've all gotten really close and learned to play well as a team."

Hall hopes the renewed focus can help the Sailors (8-3 overall, 4-1 in league) improve on the aspects of their game that have kept them from sealing the close ones.

"It's just cutting down on mistakes and being smarter with our shots," outside hitter Lisa Floyd explained. "We're excited for a chance to redeem."

A win today or Saturday will not only mark the Sailors' first league win at home this season, but Hall said it would also "slingshot (them) into the second half of the league play."

Palisade brings a team that is currently tied for second place in league standings with Steamboat, and Delta returns much of the squad that split games with Steamboat in the regular season and then beat Steamboat at the last year's district tournament.

After having played both opponents, and therefore having faced every league opponent, the Sailors will have a clearer idea of where they fit and who they are.

The Steamboat girls are clearly ready for a statement game.

The Moffat County loss "gives us more motivation to show them what we can do," Bull said.

"We want to beat them in three," Sara Williams added.

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