Steamboat Springs Despite its scrappiness and unwillingness to give up, the Soroco High School volleyball team simply can't shake the fifth-game blues.
After falling to West Grand on Friday in five games, Soroco again fell in five games Saturday, this time to the Vail Mountain School.
"I wouldn't say they let it get away," Rams coach Kim Reeves said. "I think they played amazing. But we have to figure out as a team what we need to do to get over that last little hump. It's what happened to us (Friday) night. We can't get over that fifth game."
Soroco certainly seemed like it had momentum on its side.
The Rams had won game 4 in convincing fashion, 25-18.
But after the two teams traded points in the fifth game, Vail Mountain took over. With the scored tied at 5, the Gore Rangers scored 10 of the next 15 points to close the match out.
"I think we get too uptight," said Rams junior Ceanna Rossi, who led the team with 11 kills. "We start worrying more than playing. We play safe instead of playing hard. It's just going to take more experience, more confidence and believing in ourselves."
The Rams flashed signs of a dominant team Saturday.
After it dropped the first game, 25-19, Soroco was on the verge of finding itself in a 2-0 hole.
Down 24-21, the Rams stormed back. On the back of strong serving by Corey Snyder, Soroco reeled off five straight points to take the game 26-24.
Vail Mountain responded in the third game, coming back from a 14-10 deficit to win the game.
Soroco took the fourth, before the fifth-game jitters set in.
"You can't practice that in practice," Reeves said about the fifth game. "You can't get that intensity and competitiveness you need."
Regardless of the loss, Soroco nears the district tournament a confident team. The young Rams have shown this year that they can compete with any team. Soroco pushed league-leading and undefeated Vail Christian to five games earlier this year, and Reeves said she thinks that has her Soroco team as a wild card heading into the final few weeks.
"We have people shaking," she said. "Going into districts, that's going to play a huge role. I'm sure people are already thinking about us."
Soroco continues play at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday when the team welcomes cross-county rival Hayden.