Hayden volleyball loses to Meeker in four sets | SteamboatToday.com

Hayden volleyball loses to Meeker in four sets

Jim Patterson

Hayden High School sophomore Allison Ingols, far right, goes up against two Meeker defenders during the Tigers' Saturday match with the Meeker Cowboys. The Cowboys won the match in four sets.

— The Hayden High School volleyball team may have lost Saturday’s match against the Meeker Cowboys, but the sting of losing the match was somewhat tempered by the inclusion of what Tigers coach Dayna Hunter described as one of her team’s best games of the season.

After losing the first two sets, the Tigers rallied in the third, coming out on top of a fierce, back-and-forth struggle to best the Cowboys 25-21.

“They played great ball,” Hunter said following the match. “I think the third set, we played the best that we’ve played all season. We played really, really well.”

Unfortunately, the Tigers couldn’t sustain the momentum they built in the third game, losing the fourth — and with it, the match — 4-25.

“I think they got a little too caught up in the wind,” Hunter said of the decisive, followup defeat.

Meeker — ranked third in 2A District 5 league standings — won the first and second sets 15-25 and 23-25, and until the fourth set, the Tigers had shown steady improvement through the course of the match, meshing more comfortably as a team and, at times, exhibiting an almost clock-like precision in saving shots that seemed hopelessly lost.

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Hunter gave the visiting Cowboys — currently 11-3 on the season and 7-1 in league play — plenty of credit for a match well-played and a season well-executed.

“Meeker has a great program,” Hunter said. “They always have.”

Saturday’s loss puts the Tigers at 3-10 on the season and 2-5 in league play.

Next up for the Hayden is a home game against cross-county rival Soroco at 5 p.m. Oct. 10.

The Rams, 7-8, 4-4, are currently ranked 7th in league standings, two positions above the Tigers, and Monday’s meeting in Hayden could add up to an exciting and well-matched contest.

In any case, Hunter said the Tigers will be ready.

“We’ve got to keep our hustle and then, don’t overthink things,” Hunter said. “Take them as they come, and just play together as a team. I mean, we have a great team this year, and they just need to keep playing together and keep hustling.”

Another tough team

The Tigers took another tough loss Friday, this time on the road against No. 2-ranked Rangely.

The Panthers, 11-3 on the season and 6-0 in league play, defeated the Tigers in three sets, 17-25, 13-25 and 15-25.

To reach Jim Patterson, call 970-871-4208, email jpatterson@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JimPatterson15