Sailors finish season | SteamboatToday.com

Sailors finish season

Girls volleyball ready for districts

Luke Graham

— With two league games remaining, the Steamboat Springs High School volleyball team has entrenched itself as the No. 3 seed in the Western Slope League.

With a spot guaranteed in the district tournament – the top five teams from the Western Slope League make the 48-team tournament, the focus now turns to where the Sailors will be seeded.

Steamboat has two league games remaining on its schedule – one at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Palisade and another at 1 p.m. Saturday at Delta – and the players see the contests as final tune-ups before the postseason.

“We more than anything have districts in mind,” senior Katy Gary said. “These are games that are going to prepare us to be ready for districts.”

As it stands now, Steamboat would be placed in the District 8 tournament bracket. Although the bracket is subject to change, Steamboat most likely would be grouped with Montrose, Moffat County, Rock Canyon and two other teams to be determined.

The tournament most likely would take place in Montrose.

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With the top two teams advancing to the 16-team regional tournament, Steamboat would have to make it out of its three-team pool into the cross-bracketing portion of the tournament.

Essentially what that means is it could come down to a Steamboat versus Moffat County match to see who goes to regionals.

“Most of us have it set in our mind that we are getting this job done this weekend. We’re not overlooking these games,” Gary said. “But we’re looking forward. Hopefully we see Craig again and regain our victory against them.”

Although a Moffat-Steamboat game would be high drama, it’s not hard to fathom the Western Slope League’s top three teams – Battle Mountain, Moffat County and Steamboat Springs – advancing to the regional tournament. The three teams have a combined 41-9 record.

“I think the playing field between top three in the league is a pretty good match,” Moffat County coach Brianna Montgomery said. “All top three teams have a lot of talent on them.”

Moffat County might be the hottest team in the league, having won 11 straight games and handing Battle Mountain its first loss in Class 4A in more than a year.

With the Bulldogs and Huskies ranked in the top 10, and the Sailors having a win against the Bulldogs and having pushed the Huskies to five games, Montgomery said it wouldn’t surprise her come regionals to see all three Western Slope League teams in the bracket.

“I think playing in our league helps for the postseason,” the second-year Bulldogs coach said. “I think Battle Mountain and Steamboat are both really talented teams. Our league is better this year than it has been. It’s prepared all of us.”