Sports briefs: Volleyball prepares for next challenge

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What: Steamboat Springs volleyball vs. Glenwood Springs

When: 6:30 p.m. today

Where: Steamboat Springs High School

2009 Steamboat Springs High School Volleyball Schedule

Sept. 4, Won, 25-20, 25-11 vs. West Grand (Glenwood Springs Tournament, 0-0, 1-0)

Sept. 5, Won, 25-17, 25-21, vs. Denver Christian, (Glenwood Springs Tournament, 0-0, 2-0)

Sept. 5, Won, 25-21, 25-23 vs. Grand Junction High School, (Glenwood Springs Tournament 0-0, 3-0)

Sept. 5, Lost, 25-16, 17-25, 17-19 vs. Glenwood Springs, (Glenwood Springs Tournament 0-0, 3-1)

Sept. 17, Won, 25-17, 25-17, 16-25, 22-25, 15-12 at Glenwood Springs (1-0, 4-1)

Sept. 19, Won, 25-9, 25-15, 25-18 vs. Rifle (2-0, 5-1)

Sept. 24, Won, 25-23, 16-25, 25-17, 25-21 at Moffat County (3-0, 6-1)

Sept. 26, Won 26-24, 25-23, 25-21 at Battle Mountain (4-0, 7-1)

Sept. 26, Lost 15-25, 17-25, 19-25 at Eagle Valley (4-1, 7-2)

Oct. 2, Won 25-17, 25-13, 25-12 vs. Delta (5-1, 8-2)

Oct. 3, Won 25-21, 25-19, 25-19 vs. Palisade (6-1, 9-2)

Oct. 6, Won 25-14, 25-10, 25-17 at Rifle (7-1, 10-2)

Oct. 8 Won 21-25, 25-20, 25-18, 20-25, 15-11 vs. Glenwood Springs (8-1, 11-2)

Oct. 10 Won 25-17, 25-20, 25-23 at Summit (8-1, 12-2)

Oct 15 Won 25-16, 25-14, 25-13 vs. Moffat County (9-1, 13-2)

Oct. 17 Won 20-25, 25-18, 25-18, 27-25 vs. Battle Mountain (14-2, 10-1)

Oct. 17 Lost 21-25, 20-25, 21-25 vs. Eagle Valley (14-3, 10-2)

Oct. 22 Lost 20-25, 16-25, 25-23, 22-25 at Palisade (14-4, 10-3)

Oct. 23 Won 25-13, 22-25, 25-20, 25-15 at Delta (15-4, 11-3)

Oct. 31 at Montrose for District 8 Tournament. Teams: 1. Montrose; 2. Mullen; 3. Steamboat Springs; 4. Palisade; 5. Montezuma-Cortez; 6. Pueblo East.

— As much as the Steamboat Springs High School volleyball team has been cruising recently, there is no doubt its next task at hand could be the toughest.

Steamboat welcomes Glenwood Springs at 6:30 p.m. today, a game crucial to the Sailors' hope for a Western Slope League title.

Steamboat, at 10-2 overall and 7-1 in league play, has won three straight matches all in just three games, the last a 25-14, 25-10 and 25-17 win Tuesday in Rifle.

"Going into someone else's gym, you want to make sure you're up for everybody," Steamboat coach Wendy Hall said about the win at Rifle. "You want to be prepared to go out and play your best. It's too far to travel to go down and perform anything less than our best. But we have to get ready for Glenwood and continue our good play."

Steamboat and Glenwood have played twice this season. The Demons took the first matchup in a season-opening tournament. The Sailors won the last one, a five-game thriller.

Hall said Steamboat wasn't as sharp as it could be against Rifle and that the team knows it will have to play better today if it wants to continue to keep pace with league-leader Eagle Valley.

"I expect them coming in with a little bit of vengeance on their mind," Hall said about Glenwood. "We stole a match from them in their own gym. A couple mistakes the other way and the outcome sways the other way. I'm sure that's what they're thinking. We need to be ready for them."

Hall said again the key will be for Steamboat to play solid defense and equate that into an attacking offensive approach.

"Confidence is a powerful thing," she said. "There is no reason we shouldn't be confident. But we know it's going to be a battle."

Cross-country team fares well in Battle Mountain

Despite a late change in the course, the Steamboat Springs High School cross-country team fared well in Battle Mountain on Saturday.

On the boys side, Gus Allen paced the Sailors with a third-place finish. Asher Rohde was fourth, Scott Powers was fifth and Hunter Thompson was 19th.

Katherine Lynch led the girls with a fourth-place finish. Erika Walters came in ninth, and Madi McKinstry was 16th.

The course was changed after competitors in earlier races encountered beehives along the way.

In turn, the change to the course made it tougher, as it climbed more vertical feet. Steamboat coach Andy Reust said the course and the climbing would have been better to race on earlier in the year.

Regardless, Reust said he was pleased with the way the Sailors ran.

"We've got four really strong runners," Reust said about the boys team. "We're looking for that fifth. We'll see what happens. Scott Powers really has come on strong lately. We've got four pretty good kids out there running at this point."

With the regional meet two weeks away, Reust said runners would begin to taper off with workouts.

The team travels Saturday to Aspen before completing the regular season Oct. 15 in Rifle.

Reust said that with the team starting to run well, he's anticipating more solid results the next couple of weeks.

"As we get closer to regionals and state, all the courses are almost flat," he said. "Everyone starting next week will be tapering down. They'll start getting their legs underneath them."

Soccer game vs. Colorado Academy today canceled

The Steamboat Springs High School soccer game scheduled for 5:45 p.m. today against Colorado Academy at Gardner Field has been canceled.

Colorado Academy can't field enough players because the flu bug has hit the school. More than 60 percent of Colorado Academy's players have come down with the illness.

Because of tight schedules the last two weeks of the regular season, the game won't be made up.

Steamboat's next game is 11 a.m. Saturday at Palisade.

- To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229 or e-mail lgraham@steamboatpilot.com

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