Steamboat volleyball wraps up regular season with split
October 22, 2011
Steamboat Springs — If Saturday, and really the whole season, proved anything, it's that there is a wide spectrum of play possibilities out of the Steamboat Springs High School volleyball team.
"We're capable of playing really good volleyball, but we're also capable of not looking so good," Steamboat coach Wendy Hall said. "We for sure have an A game and a B game. We showed one of each" Saturday.
They certainly did.
Steamboat locked up third place in Western Slope League in the early game, downing Battle Mountain, 3-1, before falling to Eagle Valley, 3-0, in the afternoon game.
The split means Steamboat will be the third seed in District 8. The team will travel to Durango to play Saturday.
"It's just been our confidence against certain teams and our lack of confidence against others," Hall said. "That's been a really big factor of what's going on with this team this year."
Against Battle Mountain, Steamboat started slowly before looking like the team it has at times this year.
That team, one that uses multiple hitters and doesn't let its opponent earn points, easily finished the match in four sets.
But then in the afternoon game against Eagle Valley, a semi-meaningless battle for second place in the league as both teams will be in Durango for districts, the other side of Steamboat came out.
After an emotional senior night ceremony where nine Sailors were recognized, it looked like that raw emotion would carry over.
Steamboat jumped out to an early lead in the first game, before Eagle Valley took over and dominated, thanks in large part to Rutgers-bound senior Alex Lassa.
The Sailors did well to block Lassa early, but a few missiles later, waning confidence was felt throughout the gym.
It also didn't help that the Devils looked phenomenal. Eagle Valley, with much attention paid to Lassa, balanced the attack and dominated the rest of the games.
"That's the first match all year we had an attack out of the middle," Devils coach Shawn Weatherred said. "We got our middle going and some from the right side. That's what we need. We can't just chuck it out there to (Lassa) all the time."
Now the two teams prepare for the district tournament. Durango is the No. 1 seed and host with Eagle Valley as the No. 2 seed and Steamboat as the No. 3 seed. It's not out of the question that each team's season could come down to a third showdown Saturday in Durango.
Eagle Valley clearly has the mental advantage at this point after winning the two previous matches.
Still, Hall said she would implore her senior-laden team to approach Saturday a little differently.
"We very well could play them again to go on. It could come down to that, and they have a huge psychological advantage," she said. "I'm going to tell them they're playing with nothing to lose. Don't roll over, and don't give up. They got to look back and think about all the hours they have put in and put themselves in a position to win."
To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com