Demons dig in to sweep Sailors
Post Independent Sports Editor
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Wendy Hall wasn’t about to sugarcoat the kind of night her Steamboat Springs High School had on Tuesday.
“This is the toughest night we’ve had in Glenwood Springs in many, many years,” the Sailors’ coach said following the Demons’ 25-21, 25-15, 25-18 Class 4A Western Slope League victory. “Every time they get us, it’s always in five.
“Steamboat and Glenwood always show up for each other,” the coach continued. “I just felt like there was only one team that showed up tonight, and it wasn’t us.”
Glenwood (5-5 overall, 2-2 league play) took advantage of that, but the Demons played a level above where they’d been in dropping two of their first three league matches. That came thanks to senior outside hitter Taylor Kontour, whose 10 kills and pinpoint serving gave the Sailors (5-4, 3-2) fits all night long.
“Steamboat is a great team,” said Kontour, who added a pair of stuff blocks and two service aces. “They have great hitters, great blockers and great defense. We were just able to find all the holes in their defense.”
Glenwood senior setter Delaney Gaddis added 29 assists and three kills and Jamie Crowley added nine kills and a pair of stuff-blocks for the Demons, who controlled the momentum for close to three-quarters of the match.
Six of the Sailors’ first seven points of the match came on Glenwood hitting errors, and the Demons took advantage of the Sailors’ offensive woes by putting some big runs together in the first and second sets.
The Sailors beat Eagle Valley in four sets on Tuesday.
“That was a different team,” Hall said.
Meanwhile, Glenwood coach Sarah Ryan was singing a different tune.
“No, I’m not surprised by that score,” she said. “That’s how my team should be playing every single time. That’s what I told them afterward, too.
“I basically told them, ‘Hey. There’s my team,’” she continued.
Steamboat went up 13-8 in the first after a kill from Jenna Miller and a pair of hitting errors from Glenwood. But Steamboat made a hitting error on the next Glenwood return, promptly sparking a 12-2 run where Contour had three kills and her two aces.
That continued into the second set, as Glenwood capped a 12-22 run to open the set with a stuff-block from MacKenzi Johnson. Steamboat couldn’t recover, as Gabby Heron — who finished with four kills — had two of them in the set to pace the Saliors’ offense.
Steamboat, however, took the initial lead in the third to try to extend the match. Glenwood fought back, but a kill from Maddie Robertson gave the Sailors a slim 16-15 cushion.
Glenwood responded, however, with a dink kill from Gaddis, and Contour’s kill on the next point off a diving dig that was returned over the net gave the Demons the lead for good. Crowley reeled off three kills for the Demons in the final stretch to help close it out.
Ryan was happy Contour emerged the way she did.
“She’s done that a couple of times this year,” the coach said. “It’s like the light bulb went off and she said, ‘Hey, I can hit.’”
Contour echoed those statements.
“I came out at one point and figured I had to pick the team up and put it on my shoulders,” Contour said. “I think that’s why I kind of came out with some fire the way I did.”
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