Hayden's Ashlee Doolin smashes a kill in Friday's four-game match victory against De Beque.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Hayden's Ashlee Doolin smashes a kill in Friday's four-game match victory against De Beque.

Tigers volleyball pick up win in 4-game romp

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Erin Koehler, left, and Ashlee Doolin get up to block a play by De Beque's Lexxi Varner.

Rams just short against league's top dog

Soroco lost a close match at home Friday, falling in five games to league-leading Vail Christian. The Saints won 19-25, 25-20, 25-18, 20-25, 15-13.

"We played awfully well against a good team," Soroco coach Kim Reeves said. "We just played our best match of the season."

Reeves said the key to the Rams' near-upset was dogged persistence and unflappable teamwork.

They also got help from Corey Snyder, who led the team with 15 kills and Ceanna Rossi who got her hands on the ball 52 times in leading Soroco's block.

"The biggest part, though, was the whole team working together," Reeves said. "That lowers our errors, and when we have fewer unforced errors, we beat teams."

Soroco fell down quickly in the final game, trailing 8-4. It rallied in time to tie things at 12. Vail Christian found a way to piece together one last run, however, and went on to seal the match.

"I told the team I could handle a loss like this any day," Reeves said. "Obviously losing isn't what we want, but I'm hoping it was a confidence builder."

— Just like that, the Hayden girls volleyball team again is riding high.

The Tigers, off to a slow start to the season, made it all OK Friday evening as they blasted De Beque, winning in four games, 25-14, 25-9, 23-25 and 25-17.

"It just felt good to win," senior Jarah Woodley said. "We haven't won for a while and it felt good."

The win was Hayden's first since it defeated Plateau Valley in three games two weeks ago. The win bumps the team's record to 2-6.

Hayden dominated much of Friday's match.

The turning point in the first game came as Woodley toed the service line with Hayden clinging to an 11-9 lead. She reeled off six consecutive points to build a gap the Dragons never recovered from.

"It's exciting when you get on a roll like we did," she said. "The hits started clicking, and the passes were there. It feels great when it starts happening like that."

That spurt seemed to sink De Beque's hopes, not just in the first game, but in the second as well. Before that run, the first game had been tied, 8-8.

Hayden scored 14 of the next 19 points in that game and, carrying the momentum into the second game, 28 of the 34 points that followed Woodley's first serve.

Hayden leapt ahead 6-0 and 14-1 in the second game.

In addition to generating an accurate and consistent serve, Hayden ruled at the net, both offensively and defensively.

Swinging, the Tigers picked up powerful kills in the first two games from seniors Ashlee Doolin, Keisha McClintock and Rachael Koehler, junior Morgan Bell and sophomore Aubree Haskins.

Hayden's block, meanwhile, made it hard for De Beque to gain any momentum. Koehler and her sister, Erin Koehler, joined McClintock and the trio led the way, repeatedly stuffing Dragon kill attempts.

"We have been trying to be more aggressive at the net with our block," coach Greg Johnson said. "We have some tall girls that other teams don't have and we need to use that size to our advantage."

With all that success though, came an ever-diminishing focus that eventually gave De Beque the third game. The Tigers struggled to gain the separation they found so easily in the first two games and couldn't shake the suddenly pesky Dragons. The score tied at 12 and 13, 15 and 21 before De Beque put together a small run that would prove enough to win.

Finally, in the fourth game, starters back up off the bench, Hayden again made it look easy, breaking open a 6-5 game by winning nine of 10 points to go up 15-6.

Senior Katie Parrott picked up a kill to make it 17-8, Doolin served an ace for 18-8 and the Tigers were on their way to capturing the match.

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