Demons can’t catch Sailors
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Sarah Ryan’s assessment of Saturday’s performance by Glenwood Springs High School’s volleyball team couldn’t have been more positive, regardless of what the scoreboard said.
“That, right there, was the best that we’ve played all week,” the Demons’ coach said following her team’s 25-19, 25-19, 25-21 loss to the unbeaten Steamboat Springs Sailors on Saturday afternoon. “We played more as a team instead of playing as individuals, and they held each other accountable on the court. It’s nice that we figured it out.”
Then again, the Demons (3-8 overall, 1-4 Class 4A Western Slope League) might have needed more than that to hang with the Sailors (10-0, 4-0 WSL). Though they played each of the three sets against Steamboat close, the Demons found themselves playing from behind for almost the duration against a team that, through Saturday, has only lost three sets so far this year.
“We’ve got a special group of players this season,” longtime Steamboat coach Wendy Hall said. “But we know that we have to get better. The great thing is that this is a great group of girls who are receptive to what I have to say as a coach, so I have no doubt that we’ll continue to improve.”
Hayley Johnson finished with a team-high seven kills, Abigail Wiedel had six kills, setter Maritza Wiedel had 16 assists and Maddie Labor chipped in 18 digs and four aces for the Sailors, who never trailed in the second set and held off the Demons’ effort to extend the match in the third and decisive set. For Glenwood, Makena Warren had a match-high nine kills to go with seven from Ivy Wight, with Lara Mollica adding 10 digs and Megan Uren chipping in 13 digs for the Demons.
The Sailors never, at any point, held a commanding lead. They used commanding-type runs, however, to keep the Demons out of striking distance at the end of each set.
In the first, consecutive kills from Jaime Crowley, followed by a Steamboat hitting error, pulled Glenwood within 17-16. The Demons’ next serve went long, though, and it sparked a 7-1 run that brought the Sailors within set point before they closed it out three serves later.
Glenwood again kept things close in the second set, using a pair of Steamboat hitting errors and kills from Bella Diaz and Warren to pull the Demons within 14-13. Then after some back-and-fourth play, an ace from Labor closed another 7-1 Sailors run that gave Steamboat a 24-17 lead and an eventual two-set cushion.
Again, Glenwood stayed within reach halfway through the third, with kills from Diaz and Wight bringing the Demons within 21-18. Steamboat didn’t let the Demons come any closer, however, and Annie Osbourn’s kill off an assist from Weidel closed it out.
“I can’t remember the last time we won in three here,” Hall said.
To which Ryan, with a smile, said: “Well, we beat them in three at their place last year. They returned the favor on us.”
The Demons, who have lost four straight and five of their last six, will try to rebound when they play at Rifle on Thursday. Steamboat will host Palisade in the Sailors’ next league match on Friday.
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John Iuele’s fadeaway jump shot as time expired propelled the Demons to a thrilling 38-36 overtime victory against the Montrose Indians in the championship game of the Demon Invitational Tournament at Glenwood Springs High School.