Steamboat Springs High School senior Colleen King goes up for a spike during the Oct. 15 match against Moffat County. Steamboat plays at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Palisade and at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Delta.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Steamboat Springs High School senior Colleen King goes up for a spike during the Oct. 15 match against Moffat County. Steamboat plays at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Palisade and at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Delta.

Sailors soccer, volleyball ready for showdowns

Steamboat Springs teams set for key games today

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Soroco volleyball falls

The Soroco High School girls volleyball team lost in four games Tuesday to North Park.

The Wildcats beat the Rams 25-14, 18-25, 25-7 and 25-17. Soroco next plays at 6 p.m. Friday at Vail Christian.

If you go

What: Steamboat boys soccer vs. Moffat County

When: 5:15 p.m. today

Where: Gardner Field

If you go

What: Steamboat girls volleyball at Palisade and at Delta

When: 6:30 p.m. today in Palisade and 5:30 p.m. Friday in Delta

— A day before their biggest game of the season, nerves didn't seem to be a factor for the Steamboat Springs Sailors boys soccer team.

The team planned to not even use a soccer ball for its Wednesday practice, and instead play a little American football, coach Rob Bohlmann said.

That his group of players is relaxed heading into today's 5:10 p.m. home game against Moffat County doesn't surprise Bohlmann.

"I think right now this group has a good mentality for any situation that are thrown out at them," he said.

A victory tonight, paired with a Battle Mountain tie or loss, would secure the Western Slope League title for the Sailors. While the rival Moffat County squad won't make the postseason this year, the game still offers intrigue for both sides.

The Sailors and Bulldogs have engaged in some battles recently. Steamboat won in Moffat earlier this season, 2-1. Last season, with a postseason berth already clinched, the Sailors traveled to Craig and lost, 4-3, in double overtime.

"We have to make sure we go into it with the right mentality," Bohlmann said. "We have all the opportunity in the world to do what we can to win a league title. At least the part that's in our hands."

It's hard not to like how Steamboat is playing. The final 15 minutes of Tuesday's 2-0 win against Eagle Valley might have been Steamboat's best stretch of the year.

Up just 1-0, the Sailors kept the pressure on, finally getting a gorgeous goal from Andrew White in the 69th minute to take a 2-0 lead.

Based on that type of play, the Sailors feel like they are peaking at the right time.

"When we were identifying seasonal goals, we were going off how we could grow from last year," Bohlmann said. "We felt we peaked at midseason and leveled off. This year it's been a nice progression to mature as a team. To wrap up the game the way we did, we're playing with confidence and are really sharp."

Volleyball faces big tests

The Steamboat Springs High School volleyball team has a chance to wrap up second place in the Western Slope League today and Friday.

Steamboat plays at 6:30 p.m. today at Palisade and at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Delta.

Steamboat beat both teams at home earlier this season in three games.

The quick three-game win against Palisade gives Steamboat the advantage going into today's game.

The Sailors, at 14-3 overall and 10-2 in league play, are one game ahead of the Bulldogs. If Steamboat wins, or manages to not lose in three games, the Sailors will still be ahead in the league standings.

But coach Wendy Hall said the team doesn't want a loss.

"We're in a good position beating them in three," Hall said. "We don't want it to come to that point. We'd much rather keep it neat and tidy. But we'll have our hands full."

In the first meeting, Steamboat used a potent offensive attack to tie up Palisade's big hitters.

Hall said Steamboat will have to do that again and be aggressive at the net.

Although Steamboat is coming off a three-game loss to Eagle Valley on Saturday, Hall said a meeting Monday put to rest that that loss would resonate with her team.

With the district tournament a mere week away, Hall said it remains imperative Steamboat gets on a roll.

"Like I said Saturday, I'm certain these kids will bounce back, and I still feel that way," she said. "There has been no head-dropping this week. They've come into the gym and practiced as hard as ever."

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

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