Steamboat Springs High School sophomore Alex Feeley keeps the ball from hitting the floor during the Sailors 3-2 victory against Delta on Friday night at Kelly Meek Gymnasium.

Photo by John F. Russell

Steamboat Springs High School sophomore Alex Feeley keeps the ball from hitting the floor during the Sailors 3-2 victory against Delta on Friday night at Kelly Meek Gymnasium.

Steamboat volleyball holds off Delta in win

Sailors pull off win after Panthers fight back to take 2 games

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— After the Sailors won the first two games of Friday night’s match against Delta, it looked like it was going to be an early night for the members of the Steamboat Springs High School volleyball team.

But during the next three games, the Sailors learned that not everything comes easy.

After losing the first two games of the set, 25-21 and 25-21, Delta came to life. The Panthers won the third game, 25-16, and evened the score at two games with a 25-19 win in the fourth. But Steamboat regained its command in the fifth and deciding game, winning 15-9 behind solid hitting from Kaitie Breisch, Maggie Stanford and Alex Feeley.

“I feel like this was a big win for our team,” Breisch said. “We feel like we’ve improved a lot since the last time we played Delta, and we knew this was a match we could win.”

Breisch finished the match with 14 kills, Stanford had 14, and Addie Sulentich added eight more kills to the Sailors’ total. The team also got a boost from Feeley, who made the most of her first varsity start with four kills in the match, including two in the final game.

“She’s been on the court a little bit for us this season, but being a starter is something new,” coach Wendy Hall said. “It doesn’t surprise me (that she had a good match). She is mentally tough.”

Steamboat’s Jenna Peters finished the game with 34 assists, Taylor Loomis was 21 for 21 serving, and Feeley was 17 of 18 with four aces.

Steamboat looked to have the match in hand early, but Hall said Delta is a solid defensive team with a scrappy style that keeps the Panthers in most matches. The Sailors struggled to hit the ball in the third game, and Delta took advantage of the lack of focus to work back into the match.

Breisch said the Steamboat players also lost focus after a Delta freshman, who was not in the varsity match, had a seizure behind the Steamboat bench. She was taken from the school by ambulance, but Delta coach Renee St. Jean reported that the player was doing fine after the game.

Steamboat, which had made only eight hitting errors through the first two games, made 12 in the third game. Hall said the team struggled to handle Delta’s serves in that game, which resulted in the errors. Steamboat’s problems continued in the next game, as Delta pulled away from a tight game late to force the fifth.

Skylyn Webb led the Panthers with 10 kills in the match, and teammate Jenni Jones finished with nine. Callie Gafford had seven solo blocks in the contest. The Panth­ers had 33 kills and 21 hitting errors.

“We got off to a slow start after spending four hours on the road,” St. Jean said. “I’m proud of how hard our girls fought back tonight. But the fifth game has been our nemeses all season. This is the fourth time we’ve lost in the fifth game.”

The victory im­­proves the Sail­ors’ record to 7-8 overall and 3-5 in Western Slope League. The Panthers fell to 6-7 overall and 3-4 in league play. The Panthers will face Moffat County today in Craig. The Sailors will be off until Thurs­day, when the team travels to Glenwood to face the Demons.

Volleyball: Delta at Steamboat

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