Sailors prepare for final stretch | SteamboatToday.com

Sailors prepare for final stretch

Volleyball team faces Glenwood today

Luke Graham

— From here on out, they all matter.

With four regular season games remaining, the Steamboat Springs High School volleyball team could lock up the No. 3 seed in the Western Slope League by sweeping through the last two weeks of the season.

With Battle Mountain and Moffat County ahead of Steamboat in the standings, the third-place Sailors (11-4 overall, 7-3 in league play) control their own destiny, beginning at 6:30 p.m. today with a home match against fourth-place Glenwood Springs at Kelly Meek Gymnasium.

Steamboat then plays Rifle at 1 p.m. Saturday at home. This year’s seniors will be honored during the Rifle game.

Steamboat finishes the season with games against Palisade and Delta before district play begins.

Steamboat already has beat the four teams remaining on its schedule, and Sailors coach Wendy Hall said at this point, with the way Steamboat’s playing, she’s confident the team could beat any team in the league.

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“You want to be playing your best,” Hall said. “I’m really happy. We made huge steps in the right direction last week with how we played Battle Mountain, then the way we handled Eagle Valley. … We needed that.”

One of the main differences in Steamboat’s play, Hall said, has been the Sailors’ play at the net.

She said the team has blocked well the past two weeks, leading to more and more confidence defensively.

“Blocking is a huge momentum swing,” Hall said. “It takes some confidence away from your opponents – it’s kind of a double-point, so to speak. You’re winning a point and putting a lack of confidence in your opponent.”

Steamboat won in the maximum five games the first time the team played Glenwood (9-5, 5-4), and Hall said she expects another tough contest.

“Glenwood’s real good. They’re better than their record indicates,” Hall said. “Glenwood Springs is capable of beating anyone. They got some really nice players. I expect nothing less from Glenwood than their best.”

Although Hall knows Steamboat can’t overlook any team, the Sailors should hold a distinct advantage against their final four foes.

“We want to hold that third seed. We have total control of that, and nobody can pass us,” Hall said. “What we have is control of assuring a third seed. We also have a mental advantage from beating those teams before.”

If you go

What: Steamboat vs. Glenwood volleyball today; Steamboat vs. Rifle volleyball on Saturday

When: 6:30 p.m. today, 1 p.m. Saturday

Where: Kelly Meek Gymnasium at Steamboat Springs High School, 45 Maple St.