Steamboat Springs High School junior Addie Sulentich goes up for a spike during Tuesday night’s match against Palisade. The Sailors lost in 4 sets.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Steamboat Springs High School junior Addie Sulentich goes up for a spike during Tuesday night’s match against Palisade. The Sailors lost in 4 sets.

Errors doom Steamboat volleyball in loss to Palisade

Sailors faces a real possibility of missing the district tournament

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— Luke Graham

PILOT & TODAY STAFF

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS

Backed into a corner, the next two weeks will be very telling for the Steamboat Springs High School volleyball team.

On the heels of a 3-1 loss to Palisade at home Tuesday — the Bulldogs won, 18-25, 25-16, 25-18 and 25-21 — Steamboat faces a real possibility of missing the district tournament.

“We need to get everyone back that’s gotten us,” said Steamboat setter Jenna Peters, who finished Tuesday’s game with 36 assists. “We need to stick together and recover our season.”

Steamboat (6-8 overall, 2-5 in the Western Slope League) has four games remaining in the regular season. The team plays Delta and Moffat County at home before traveling to Battle Mountain and Eagle Valley. Steamboat beat Moffat and Battle Mountain but fell to Eagle Valley and Delta in matches earlier this season.

“We have to have the two matches we have left at home,” said Steamboat coach Wendy Hall, whose team next plays at 6:30 p.m. Friday at home against Delta. “Then, we have to go to Glenwood Springs and even things there. But Friday is big. I wouldn’t go as far to call it a must win, but it’s pretty darn close. It’s pretty important, for sure.”

Tuesday’s match began well for Steamboat.

The Sailors held a 6-5 lead in the first game and used a 10-0 run to cruise to a 25-18 win. Steamboat was solid in most phases of the game, using a variety of hitters to run away with the win.

But that’s when Palisade (9-5, 6-1) started to take over the net.

Bulldogs junior Audrey Stein­­kirchner — who finished with 22 kills and four blocks — was an imposing figure at the net, blocking and deflecting shot after shot.

“I think it improved, and I think there is still some net play where we can be consistent,” said Palisade coach Wendy MacAskill, whose team remains in second place in the league. “We cut down on errors as the match went on.”

It didn’t help that Steamboat couldn’t cut down on its errors. After just three hitting errors in the first game, the Sailors had 10 hitting errors in the second game and another 10 in the third game.

All told, the Sailors had 36 kills as a team. But they also had 28 hitting errors. 

“It kills you,” Hall said. “Those are all free points for them. You’re not making them get a touch or play defense. That’s a difference maker.”

Steamboat played tough in the fourth set, but Palisade’s work at the net was too much to overcome. Kaitie Breisch led the Sailors with a season-high 14 kills. Marisa Beggs and Addie Sulentich each added eight.

Steamboat now preps for Delta, a team that beat the Sailors earlier in the season in four games.

“It’s huge,” Peters said. “There is a lot of pressure on us, but we need to accept that pressure. We have to win this game.”

Volleyball: Palisade at Steamboat

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