Soroco High School’s Mackenzie Carnahan tips the ball over the net as Hayden’s Erin Koehler tries to respond Friday. The Rams won more of the day’s at-the-net confrontations and, in the end, beat the Tigers in four games.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Soroco High School’s Mackenzie Carnahan tips the ball over the net as Hayden’s Erin Koehler tries to respond Friday. The Rams won more of the day’s at-the-net confrontations and, in the end, beat the Tigers in four games.

Soroco beats Hayden, 4-0, in rivalry game

Rams volleyball takes Routt rivalry in 4 sets

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— Surely for the Soroco High School volleyball team it helped that it happened in Hayden, on the home floor of their cross-county rivals and against the girls they’ve been clashing with in every sport, in every season, for years.

The Rams played volleyball as smoothly and powerfully as they have in years. They were confident and quick, tricky and persistent, and when they finished off a four-game win against the Tigers, they burst into celebration.

Soroco thumped Hayden, 25-22, 25-20, 23-25, 25-17.

“That was,” senior Shelby Miles said, pausing and grinning before continuing, “amazing.

“That was by far the most fun match we’ve ever played. We were all working together. We’ve been practicing really hard lately, and we are at the top of our game right now.”

Hayden had its moments, never letting any of the night’s games get away and, in the third, finding the right hits when it needed them the most. But the Tigers struggled to maintain much of what worked, and it was Soroco that time and time again pieced together strong runs.

More than anything else, the Rams passed well. Setter Mackenzie Carnahan moved the ball around the court to Soroco’s numerous weapons, a diverse attack that allowed the team to steer clear of Hayden’s tall and powerful middle players.

Shelby Miles, Lindsay Miles and Micaela Meyer ended up with five kills each.

“That’s the best I’ve ever played,” Shelby Miles said.

Still, the teams never seemed far apart. Soroco opened up a fat lead in the first game, jumped ahead 20-12 at one point before Hayden scored eight of the next nine to pull it close again. The Rams held just a one-point lead late in the second game.

In both games, however, Soroco was at its best as the end neared while Hayden stumbled.

In the final game of the night, the Rams really flexed their muscles, building a lead early and maintaining the advantage throughout.

“That was the most flawless we’ve played,” Soroco coach Kim Reeves said. “They were backing each other up, and I told them that’s what makes a team. They were definitely a team tonight.”

The schedule now offers both teams different opportunities. Soroco has a week off — almost too much time, Reeves fretted — before playing at home Friday against Vail Christian. Hayden, meanwhile, will get the chance to turn things around immediately, in a home doubleheader at 9:30 a.m. today against North Park and in the early afternoon against Paonia.

“Districts aren’t made right here. We have to keep progressing. We have to move on,” Hayden coach Holli Palmer said. “We saw glimpses of what potential we have. We have tough games (today) in North Park and Paonia, and we’ll be ready to take them on.”

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