Hayden’s Delanie VeDepo sets the ball for Aubree Haskins on Thursday night as the Tigers volleyball team opened its home schedule with a three-set loss to Little Snake River, from Baggs, Wyo.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Hayden’s Delanie VeDepo sets the ball for Aubree Haskins on Thursday night as the Tigers volleyball team opened its home schedule with a three-set loss to Little Snake River, from Baggs, Wyo.

Rattlers take bite out of Tigers volleyball

Little Snake River defense stunts Hayden as team falls to 1-1 on the season

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2010 Tigers volleyball schedule

— There were obvious things the Hayden High School girls volleyball team needed to work on Thursday night as the Tigers opened their home schedule against Little Snake River Valley High School, from Baggs, Wyo.

The team wasn’t efficient on offense. Its best hitters didn’t always get good, easy kill opportunities, and they didn’t convert the ones they got.

Defense proved a weak link, too, as the Rattlers pounded kill after kill through Tiger arms.

But, more than anything else, Hayden coach Greg Johnson said the lesson from Thursday night’s loss was that Little Snake River Valley is an awfully good team, one the Tigers could stand to take some notes from.

Hayden lost Thursday in three games, 25-18, 25-19 and 25-17, to fall to 1-1 on the season.

“That team gave us a lesson in how to play defense,” Johnson said. “Those girls are competitors, and they really played hard.”

That defense kept the Tigers from establishing any momentum, a far cry from the team’s first match, which it won against Rifle in three games Tuesday.

Even good attacks were scooped up by the resilient Rattlers, bumped, set and soon spiked back to Hayden’s side of the net.

“We haven’t seen a defensive team like that,” junior Erin Koehler said. “It’s the character of our team not to get down about this, and hopefully, we prove that.”

The Tigers weren’t blown out of any of the night’s games, but they didn’t threaten to steal any, either.

“We need to put some balls away,” Johnson said. “We also need to be more aggressive on defense. We’re really going to work on chasing balls down and playing defense hard.”

Hayden will attempt to improve its record at 3 p.m. Saturday as it welcomes Plateau Valley for a home match.

With a little more patience, a little better defense and a little smoother passing, Johnson said the girls could be in position for the win.

“We’re going to learn from this,” Johnson said. “I’m not sad. I’m not disappointed. We just saw what kind of level you need to play at to be with good teams.”

— To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 871-4253 or e-mail jreichenberger@steamboatpilot.com

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