Sailors set to serve at home | SteamboatToday.com

Sailors set to serve at home

Volleyball team earns No. 8 seed in tournament

Maritza Wiedel tosses up a serve during a match last month in Steamboat Springs. After finishing the regular season 19-3 and as Western Slope League champions

— A week ago, they did what they had to do, and Monday, the Steamboat Springs volleyball team received its most tangible reward: The Sailors were selected to play host to one of a dozen three-team regionals to start the Class 4A volleyball tournament.

Steamboat, the No. 8 seed, will play at home Saturday against No. 17 Erie and No. 29 Silver Creek.

"It's going to be great playing on our home court, having our fans in the stands, and that will be a really great experience for us," coach Wendy Hall said. "We've had great support from the fans all season."

The Sailors, 19-3 this season, wrapped up the Western Slope League championship last week with a dramatic, four-set victory on the road against rival Battle Mountain. That marked the team's first title since 2002, and now, it will try to do something else it hasn't done in more than a decade: run to the state tournament.

But to do that, it must survive its regional pod.

Erie finished the season fifth in the tough Tri Valley League with a 15-8 record. Silver Creek was 11-12 this year and third in the Northern League.

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The Sailors didn't see either team in the regular season, and Hall said she's left with little beyond online stats to scout them.

"It's two teams we don't know much about because they play on the other side of the mountains from us," Hall said.

The action will get underway at 11 a.m., with Steamboat opening action against Silver Creek.

Erie and Silver Creek will play next, at approximately 12:30 p.m., and the Sailors will be back on the court at roughly 2 p.m. to play Erie.

A win would send Steamboat to the state tournament, set for Nov. 13 and 14 in Denver and featuring the champion from each of the 12 regions.

Steamboat was one of five Western Slope League teams to make the cut, joining Delta, the ninth seed, Eagle Valley, 15, Battle Mountain, 21, and Palisade, 30, in the 32-team field.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9