Maritza Wiedel, from left, Maddie Labor, Taylor Harrington and Maddie Robertson play in Steamboat’s match against Montrose on Saturday. Steamboat went 0-2 for the day to finish its season 13-10.

Brian Harrington/courtesy

Maritza Wiedel, from left, Maddie Labor, Taylor Harrington and Maddie Robertson play in Steamboat’s match against Montrose on Saturday. Steamboat went 0-2 for the day to finish its season 13-10.

Season ends as Steamboat volleyball falls just short

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— As the 31st seed in the 36 teams selected for regional tournaments, the Steamboat Springs High School volleyball team didn’t seem to have much of a chance of advancing from its three-team pod even before action started Saturday morning.

So it came as little surprise when the team went 0-2, losing to Montrose, the sixth overall seed, and Mountain View, the 19th.

But oh, how close it was.

The Sailors came within a hair of unseating Montrose, which previous had only lost one full-fledged match this season. The Indians prevailed, but in a tight five-game match, winning 25-11, 25-14, 28-30, 22-25 and 15-10.

Then, already virtually eliminated in the Montrose heartbreaker and forced to take the court 20 minutes later, Steamboat fell via a three-game sweep to Mountain View, 25-17, 25-19, 25-18.

Steamboat is out, but they’re not down, coach Wendy Hall said.

"I’m just incredibly proud of how we played and how we finished the season,” she said. “There was no quit in them today, and they’re walking away with something.”

Hall said everything turned for Steamboat after the first two sets of the Montrose match. The team was playing tight and slow, and had been outscored 2-1 to that point.

“We had a calm conversation in the huddle, and I asked them what they were feeling,” Hall said. “They said 'frustrated,' and I asked if that was helping. Finally, they said they were feeling eager, eager to play better. Sure enough.”

Steamboat won the next set in marathon fashion, took the fourth with slightly more margin before finally falling again in the fifth.

“It was unbelievable,” Hall said. “Those were some of the best points of our season.

“It really was a great day.”

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9

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