Steamboat Springs senior Colleen King directs the ball past Glenwood Springs junior Taylor Nicola in Saturday's Demon Invitational championship match.

Jeff Caspersen/Glenwood Springs Post Independent

Steamboat Springs senior Colleen King directs the ball past Glenwood Springs junior Taylor Nicola in Saturday's Demon Invitational championship match.

Sailors volleyball places 2nd in Glenwood tourney

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Sailors volleyball comes up short

The team's season-opening performance in the Demon Invitational is a positive sign for what could come.

The team's season-opening performance in the Demon Invitational is a positive sign for what could come.

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Jeff Caspersen/Glenwood Springs Post Independent

Kelsey Butler, of Steamboat Springs, hits over Glenwood Springs' Kenzi Caple in Saturday's Demon Invitational championship match.

Watch the game

Watch a replay of games from the Glenwood tournament at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday on TV18, Comcast Channel 18

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.

— The Steamboat Springs High School volleyball team lost a tiebreaker, 19-17, to host Glenwood Springs on Saturday in the championship match of the Demon Invitational Volleyball Tournament.

Heartbreaking as the championship loss was, it didn't take long for the Sailors to realize they had a lot to feel good about their second-place showing.

Consider:

- Steamboat won its pool, topping West Grand, Denver Christian and Grand Junction High without losing a game.

•The Sailors proved they could win without senior setter Colleen King, who has been battling mononucleosis and sat out half the tournament games. The Sailors went 4-1 in games without King, who has committed to play volleyball next fall at Denver University.

•Junior Jenna Peters proved to be a very capable setter in King's absence and Coach Wendy Hall often played Peters in combination with King, allowing King to hit outside.

•The team answered concerns Hall had following a four-team scrimmage a week ago. Hall said the team's intensity was up this weekend, and the mistakes were down.

- Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the Sailors opened the season with a level of energy that senior middle Devin Wilkinson called the team's passion.

"I think (the tournament) was an incredible experience," Wilkinson said. "To know that passion and to have that feeling that we can go somewhere with this. Yeah, we lost that last game, but there were such incredible things that happened in that game that made up for any of the losses."

Steamboat and Glenwood got to the championship match by going unbeaten in their pools. The Demons swept through a pool that included Aspen, Nucla and Meeker.

Glenwood jumped out to an early lead in the first game, going up 13-11, but a hit by sophomore Maggie Stanford started an 11-0 run by the Sailors. In that run, King served four aces and worked with Wilkinson on a quick set and hit that put the Sailors up, 22-13. The teams traded points the rest of the way and Steamboat won, 25-17.

Hall rested King in the second game. The Sailors started fine without her and after a big block by Wilkinson, the score was tied at 13. But behind the play of hitter Lexie Warkentin and middle Leah Mansfield, Glenwood went on a 12-4 run to force a third, tiebreaker game.

The championship game was a seesaw affair, with 12 ties throughout. Down 11-10, the Sailors got a kill from hitter Kelsey Butler and a block from Stanford to go up, 12-11. Warkentin answered with a hit for Glenwood to tie the game at 12. A huge hit by King gave the Sailors a 1-point lead, but Mansfield answered with a kill for Glenwood to tie the game again at 13. The Sailors twice served to win the match - leading 16-15 and 17-16 - but a service error and a hit by Glenwood's Taryn Pearce allowed the Demons to tie the game both times.

Pearce's hit was the first of three straight Glenwood points that gave the Demons the title.

"In the last game, I think several unforced errors all added up to it coming down to the wire there at the end," Hall said.

Hall said she was pleased that the team had a chance to win at the end and that part of the team's development will be learning to close games out when they're in that position. And overall, Hall said the tournament was a big step forward from where the Sailors were just a week ago.

"I'm super pleased," Hall said. "I'm real encouraged with the improvement this team has shown ... I think we can realistically sit down and set some amazing goals for ourselves this season."

The 3-1 Sailors' next match is Sept. 17 when they travel to Glenwood to face the Demons again in the Western Slope League opener for both teams.

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