Steamboat comes in 2nd at Bishop Machebeuf volleyball tournament |

Steamboat comes in 2nd at Bishop Machebeuf volleyball tournament

Luke Graham

— The Steamboat Sailors volleyball team took second place in a 10-team tournament Saturday at Bishop Machebeuf High School.

The Sailors lost the championship match to St. Mary’s, a Colorado Springs private school, 25-21, 25-23. But coach Wendy Hall was pleased with how her team played.

“I think we played better as the day got longer,” Hall said. “And the teams we played got better, too. Better teams make you elevate your game. It was easy to elevate our game against St. Mary’s.”

Steamboat jumped out to a 13-6 lead in Game 1 against St. Mary’s, but then the Pirates went on an 8-0 run behind their stable of hard-hitting juniors: Bria Sweeney, Hannah Stockelman and Emily Whitelaw.

“They definitely had more hitting expertise than any team we’ve faced or any team in our league,” said Steamboat middle Maggie Stanford, who had four kills and nine blocks in the final match. “But we played with them. We held our own.”

Steamboat was down, 15-10, in Game 2 but fought back to take a 22-20 lead behind the hitting of Meghan Rabbitt and Amy Brodie and two aces by Stanford.

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But 2 kills each by Stockelman and Whitelaw put St. Mary’s in front for good.

The Sailors finished the day 3-2 and are now 5-2 on the season.

Steamboat put itself in a hole to start the tournament, losing to Woodland Park, 25-21, 26-24. The Sailors were at a bit of a disadvantage as they were forced to play that match without all-league libero Kailee Duryea, who missed the first two matches so she could take the ACT.

But the Sailors bounced back, winning their next three matches in straight sets. They beat Buena Vista, 25-20, 25-22, and then Bishop Machebeuf, 25-15, 25-21. The Sailors finished pool play with a 25-12, 25-19 win against Summit County. The Sailors won their pool by finishing with the best record in sets, 6-2.

“We dug ourselves in a hole to start, and I thought it might be too much to overcome,” Hall said. “But the girls fought back and won the pool. I’m pleased. It was a long day but a good day.”

Saturday’s tournament wrapped up the Sailors non-league schedule. Steamboat opens Western Slope League play Friday at Delta.

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