Steamboat volleyball cruises to 3-0 win |

Steamboat volleyball cruises to 3-0 win

Sailors down Gore Rangers in straight sets Wednesday

Luke Graham

Steamboat Springs defensive specialist Kailee Duryea digs a ball in the third game against Vail Mountain School on Wednesday afternoon at Steamboat Springs High School. The Sailors won in straight sets.

— As the 2011 Steamboat Springs High School girls volleyball team made its home debut Wednesday, there were some carry-over signs of last year's edition. 

But more important, there were many positive signs that the error-filled games and inability to close out close contests are starting to get farther and farther away in the rearview mirror. 

Steamboat dominated Vail Mountain School on Wednesday, winning in straight sets. 

The Sailors dispatched the Gore Rangers, 25-10, 25-19 and 25-21. 

"It's nice to win at home and nice to win your opener," coach Wendy Hall said. "And it's nice to win in three — always."

Steamboat imposed its will in Game 1. The Sailors — thanks in large part to a stable of healthy hitters — jumped out to huge leads. Steamboat led 11-3, 15-4 and 24-9 before finally rolling 25-10. 

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The second set started much like the first set. But there had to have been that stomach-in-the-throat moment for Steamboat. After taking leads and subsequently giving them up during the 2010 year, Steamboat again found itself in the same precarious situation. Vail Mountain had cut a 19-13 deficit to just one point at 20-19. But unlike 2010, Steamboat reeled off five straight points for the win. 

"All we needed was one kill or one ace to win that game," said senior Meghan Rabbitt, who led Steamboat with 11 kills, including five in the first set. "That's what we focused on."

Steamboat cruised in the third set despite struggling with its serves. Hall said that the team still committed too many errors but that the match was much better than last week's opener against Middle Park. 

Steamboat should find out a lot more about itself Saturday at the Bishop-Machebeuf tournament in Denver. The tournament will feature the best competition Steamboat has seen and will be a battle of endurance.
The Sailors are likely to play five games Saturday. 

"My hope is our game keeps getting a little better," Hall said. "Certainly, the endurance factor is going to come into play this weekend. I'll probably play more girls." 

— To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email 

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