Hayden seniors Erin Koehler, left, and Aubree Haskins, right, celebrate after the final point in a five-game match victory against North Park. The Tigers bounced back from a defeat Friday against Soroco to split a doubleheader against North Park and Paonia.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Hayden seniors Erin Koehler, left, and Aubree Haskins, right, celebrate after the final point in a five-game match victory against North Park. The Tigers bounced back from a defeat Friday against Soroco to split a doubleheader against North Park and Paonia.

Hayden volleyball splits Saturday doubleheader at home

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Hayden's Brette Fentress hammers a ball over the net Saturday in a game against Paonia.

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Hayden's Jordan Temple celebrates a point Saturday as the Tigers split a doubleheader at home against North Park and Paonia.

— The Hayden High School volleyball team split a doubleheader Saturday, knocking off North Park in five games and then narrowly losing to Paonia in five more.

After a long weekend of volleyball — counting a Friday night loss to Soroco, the squad went 1-2 — the team wasn’t disappointed. Instead, it was saying, “What a difference a day makes.”

Hayden beat North Park, 26-24, 22-25, 25-15, 17-25 and 17-15, but then lost to Paonia, 21-25, 25-23, 25-18, 16-25 and 15-9.

In the back-and-forth games, the Tigers found plenty to be proud of.

“I feel a lot better. I know there’s a team inside all of us,” senior Brette Frentress said. “We are starting to show what we can really do.”

What they can really do came through best at the tail end of the crucial final game against North Park.

Hayden appeared to have let the Wildcats back into the match, giving up a 2-1 lead in games. The Tigers fell behind in the tiebreaker, too, going down 11-8. A tap from senior Erin Koehler helped get Hayden rolling again, however, pulling the team within one.

Senior Aubree Haskins blocked a key North Park kill attempt to make the score 13-13, and freshman Jordan Temple racked up two kills in the final three points to secure the win.

“Jordan was playing out of her mind,” coach Holli Palmer said. “That girl, she’s an animal.”

There were moments for the team in the day’s second match, especially in the first and fourth games, when Hayden seemed to handle the Eagles with ease.

Another big Haskins block put Hayden up, 18-9, in the first game against Paonia, and another hard kill from Temple, this one a smash down the sideline, helped close out the fourth game with a huge cushion of points.

Temple caught fire in the tie-breaking fifth game, too, cracking one kill so hard it hit a Paonia defender square in the face and knocked her over. Hayden couldn’t overcome the Eagles’ 7-0 head start in that first-to-15 game, however.

But that didn’t ruin the day.

“Paonia’s a great team. They played awesome, and we played awesome. We’ll see them again,” Palmer said. “This was a big turnaround. We put Hayden back on the map. The girls played well.”

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com

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