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Steamboat Springs senior Devin Wilkinson fronted a net attack that helped the Sailors to a five-game win at Glenwood Springs on Thursday.

Jeff Caspersen/Glenwood Springs Post Independent

Steamboat Springs senior Devin Wilkinson fronted a net attack that helped the Sailors to a five-game win at Glenwood Springs on Thursday.

Sailors volleyball downs Demons in 5

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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.

— It just didn't add up in Colleen King's mind.

The senior setter and her Steamboat Springs volleyball teammates were up two games to none in Glenwood Springs, where, traditionally, wins don't come without a fight.

A big fight.

"Well, after the first two, I was like, 'This is too easy,'" King said. "We knew they were going to come out hard."

And come out hard the they did, rallying to tie Thursday's match between the 4A Western Slope League rivals at two games apiece before the Sailors managed to finish off their opponents in the decisive fifth game.

"I've never left here not exhausted," Steamboat coach Wendy Hall said after her team's 25-17, 25-17, 16-25, 22-25, 15-12 win. "It just always seems to be knock-down, drag-out. Can we just put money on it?"

Although her Demons emerged on the short end of the contest, Glenwood Springs senior Leah Mansfield wasn't dissatisfied with her team's play.

Not after rebounding from such a big deficit.

"It was the funnest game I've ever played in," Mansfield said with a smile. "We feel like we trust each other more than any team can trust each other to bring each other back up. We have players that'll sacrifice whatever they have to do to get the kill, to bring our energy up."

From the third game on, energy drove the Demons.

Long rallies were the norm, as were sprawling digs by Mansfield and her teammates, who did all they could to neutralize a Steamboat attack fronted by King and fellow senior Devin Wilkinson.

Wilkinson led the Sailors with 14 kills while King smashed 11. Wilkinson also had seven blocks.

Taryn Pearce countered with 16 kills to lead the Demons. Lexie Warkentin had eight, as did Kenzi Caple. Mansfield led Glenwood with 24 digs. Caple had 15.

The Demons looked like a different team in the third game, turning an 8-all tie into a 16-10 lead. Even after Steamboat cut its deficit to 17-14, Glenwood kept the pressure on en route to a game win.

Feeding off the momentum, the Demons escaped a fourth game, one that featured five ties, to force a fifth game.

"I never doubted them for a minute," said Demons coach Amber Sutherland, a Glenwood alum who played in many an exhausting match against Steamboat during her high school playing days. "It was just that first- and second-game jitters, the 'Oh my gosh, this team is just as good as us.' Once they got that out of their minds, they started playing their own game and were just fine."

But King, Wilkinson and Jayde Mattox combined on eight kills in that final game to keep the Demons at bay and avenge a Sept. 5 loss in Glenwood that came in the Demon Invitational championship match.

"The last time we played them we lost," King said. "We decided we didn't want that taste any more. We have 10 seniors on our team and it's our last year."

King's words reflected a bigger picture. She knows full well Thursday's outcome might loom large in the league race.

Mansfield knows that, too.

"I definitely do think it'll be between us two teams," said the Demon captain. "And I do believe up at their home it'll be another big match. That's our chance to redeem ourselves."

Glenwood (6-1 overall, 1-1 in the 4A WSL) will travel to Steamboat (4-1, 1-0) on Oct. 8 for match No. 3.

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