Steamboat Springs Meghan Rabbitt celebrates after Steamboat won Friday night's home match against Delta. Delta won the first two games but could not stop a Steamboat Springs from rallying for a 3-2 win.
Steamboat Springs The Delta Panthers took the first two games of Friday night’s match but could not stop a Sailors rally that gave Steamboat Springs its second come-from-behind win against the Panthers this season.
“We’ve been up 2-0 on them two times this year,” Delta coach Renee St. Jean said after the match. “I think we just get tight and scared to be successful. Wendy (Hall)’s kids always come out and fight hard, so you can never let them back in a match.”
It was a pivotal win for the Sailors (10-4, 5-2) whose Western Slope League record was tied with the Panthers (6-5, 4-3) before the match.
Delta took the early lead in the match behind solid play from outside hitter Katie Kahrs, who finished the night with 14 kills and seven blocks, and middle blocker Callie Gafford, who had 11 blocks in the match.
The visiting team cruised past the out-of-sync Sailors in the first game, 25-15, and despite a late-game rally by Steamboat, took Game 2, 25-22. Delta had the Sailors on the ropes in Game 3 before the Sailors climbed back into the match.
Maggie Stanford, who had six kills in the third game, put away three late shots to give the Sailors a 25-23 win. Steamboat came out sharp in Game 4 and held on to even the match with a 26-24 victory. The final game of the match was another thriller with the home team escaping with a 16-14 win and a 3-2 victory in the match.
Stanford finished the night with 15 kills, and Amy Brodie had 14. Defensive specialist Kailee Duryea had a standout night with 25 perfect passes and 53 digs. Sailors coach Wendy Hall said she was impressed with the backline play of Duryea, Alex Feeley and Meghan Rabbitt, who all had a strong night receiving serve along with Taylor Loomis.
The victory improves the Sailors league record to 5-2 (10-4 overall) and puts the team in front of Delta in league standings. Eagle Valley and Palisade were tied for first place with 5-1 records going into Friday night’s matches. Steamboat will host Palisade at 1 p.m. Saturday.
“I’m not sure if this is the biggest weekend of the season, but it seems like it,” Feeley, a junior, said after Friday’s match.
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209 or email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com