Brooms out: Sailors volleyball sweeps again | SteamboatToday.com
Ben Ingersoll

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Brooms out: Sailors volleyball sweeps again

— With the season quickly winding down, every win is critical for Steamboat Springs High School volleyball.

And with a 3-0 sweep of Palisade Friday night, the Sailors' remaining six games are quickly becoming that much more important with the postseason in mind.

It was Steamboat's second sweep in a row, and just like that, coach Wendy Hall said she sees some confidence returning to a team that a few weeks ago was in limbo after losses.

"I think we're playing well at the right time of year," Hall said. "I think we're much improved over the last three weeks."

Before stringing together a pair of impressive wins this week, the Sailors had lost four of their last five matches. But with Hall's forward-thinking attitude, Steamboat looks like a group poised to make some noise in a fairly competitive top half of the 4A Western Slope league.

The Sailors, 6-6 (4-4 Western Slope) are doing it with hot starts to their matches, and positive attitudes when things get challenging.

On Friday, Steamboat rolled to a 25-18 opening-game win, a game the Sailors never trailed in. A powerful kill to seal the Game One win by Mikaila Jegtvig set the tone.

But the Bulldogs answered in the second game, pushing the Sailors midway through the set. Palisade went neck-and-neck with Hall's squad until the two were deadlocked at 12. A few confidence-building rallies and a dominant net presence by Taylor Harrington, Maddie Robertson and Maddie Labor erased Palisade's hopes. Steamboat eased into a 25-16 win.

Game Three virtually mirrored Game One. The Sailors marched out to a 5-2 lead, which quickly swelled to 18-10 before finally closing out Palisade 25-17 for the sweep.

"It's really good for us, especially going into Saturday's game (against Delta)," Robertson said about the dominant win. "That's a tough game for us. It gives us the confidence and a good boost."

The towering trio of Robertson, Labor and Jegtvig paced the Sailors with 18 combined kills. Behind them, libero Alexis Len played outstanding, recording 23 digs and of her 19 passes, 17 were "perfect," Hall said.

"When you've got a libero that's controlling that many balls for you, and doing so well, it just helps your offense out tremendously," Hall said about Len.

The win was exciting for the raucous home crowd at Steamboat High School, but Hall and company said the celebration has to be short lived.

Steamboat will host a Delta Saturday afternoon team that won a five-game thriller against Steamboat earlier this season.

"We can go to bed feeling good about this game, and then we just have to wake up the next morning and, alright, it's time for the next one," Robertson said.

To reach Ben Ingersoll, call 970-871-4204, email bingersoll@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @BenMIngersoll