Steamboat volleyball wins again in 4-game thriller | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat volleyball wins again in 4-game thriller

Ben Ingersoll

— Revenge for Steamboat Springs High School volleyball is best served in the form of a win streak.

Looking for their third win in five days, the Sailors took down a Delta squad that beat them in five games earlier this season.

But the Panthers challenged Steamboat to the brink in all four games Saturday afternoon.

Neither team could break away from the other in the match that saw 36 ties and 21 lead changes throughout four games.

It wasn't the cleanest game by Sailors coach Wendy Hall's standards, especially in comparison to Steamboat's back-to-back sweeps to start the week. Numerous delays, timeouts and long rallies altered the Sailors' focus a bit, Hall said, but her team managed to squeeze out a critical win.

Steamboat and Delta split the first two games Saturday. The Sailors took the first game, 25-19, but dropped a Game 2 thriller, 25-23.

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The Sailors knotted things up at 23 in Game 2 after what Hall said were the season's two longest rallies. But Delta made the Sailors pay for a few late-game mistakes and closed out the win.

"That was just some really amazing volleyball," Hall said. "It was some really good plays from both teams during these long rallies."

Hall said Delta's unimpressive 1-7 league record isn't a reflection of the players the Panthers put on the floor. The two evenly matched squads wrestled point for point Saturday in a win that was huge for Steamboat in the looming playoff rankings.

Game 3 resembled much of how the Sailors and Panthers opened the match. A seesaw battle from the outset, Steamboat trailed late but used the final five points to hammer home a 25-22 victory. In Game 4, the Sailors led by as much as eight points but were able to eek out a 25-20 win to improve to 8-6 on the season.

Hall called it another balanced offensive attack, spearheaded by Mikaila Jegtvig's game-high 10 kills and Alexis Lenn's remarkable 66 digs.

The unsung heroes from the week's wins were twin sisters Maritza and Abigail Wiedel who combined with Jegtvig, Maddie Robertson (seven kills) and Maddie Labor (seven kills) to light up the scoreboard.

The Wiedel twins combined for 39 assists Saturday.

"It's unusual to have two sophomore setters, and it's even more unusual for them to be identical twins," Hall said. "I think sometimes people think they are the same person out there."

Steamboat will take a break from Western Slope League play when they travel to Middle Park on Tuesday, but Saturday's win will be celebrated by the Sailors.

"Winning these games, you just keep smiling the rest of the day because you know that you tried your hardest, and it was really a team effort," Maddie Labor said.

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

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