Hayden volleyball digs deep for huge win before district tournament

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2012 Tigers volleyball schedule

It was 24 hours later and Hayden High School volleyball coach Christene Planansky still was struggling Sunday with a cracking, hoarse voice.

That’s how thrilling the Tigers' last regular season match was — a five-game slug-fest with Vail Christian. Hayden emerged with the victory, locking down a crucial win as it sets off for the district volleyball tournament Friday.

“It was amazing,” Planansky said. “I’m extremely proud of all of those girls — all of them. I can’t even begin to express how proud I am of the fight they showed.”

Indeed, it took a considerable amount of fight for Hayden to win. The Tigers lost the first two sets, and they weren’t close, 25-18 and 25-11. They were then down 17-10 in the third game. Eight points from yet another loss, at least 55 points from any potential victory, how much darker can things get?

But Planasky said the squad was led from that darkness by junior libero Belle Mazolla, perhaps the only person in the gym who didn’t dwell on the seemingly inevitable.

“She just would not give up,” Planansky said. “It was almost like she had go-go-gadget arms. She made it to every ball and simply would not let a ball hit the ground. That desire spread through the rest of the girls on the court. It lit a fire underneath them.”

Hayden came back to win that third game, 25-22, took the equally nail-biting fourth game, 25-23, and outlasted Vail Christian to win the first-to-15, win-by-two fifth set, 19-17.

The win, which came after a three-set loss to Vail Mountain on Friday, only improves the Tigers to 4-15 on the season, but Planansky said it was exactly what the team needed as it heads for the district tournament Friday.

“This will pump them up and really help push them,” she said. “They know as long as they are willing to fight, they can win anything.”

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

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