Sailor spikers motor past Demons, 2-1
The battle between the Steamboat Springs and Glenwood Springs volleyball teams lived up to its billing Thursday night at the Glenwood High School Gym.
Both teams entered the contest ranked in the top five in Class 4A in the most recent Denver Post/9News poll and without a loss in Western Slope League play. And both have power to spare on the front line – unless the two teams are playing each other.
In the end it was Steamboat Springs’ outside hitter Katie Carter who made the difference.
Carter, who has committed to play for Division I UCLA, opened the match with a huge kill for the night’s first point, and, 17 kills later, led the No. 3-ranked Sailors to a 15-4, 11-15, 15-6 victory over No. 4-ranked Glenwood.
“Katie is just a really good player,” Glenwood coach Michelle Guillot said. “She hits the ball well and she was hitting the ball over our blockers.
“At the same time, Steamboat has other players who are also very good.”
It was the first loss of the season for Glenwood (4-1 Western Slope League, 10-1 overall), while Steamboat takes control of the WSL at 7-0, 11-1.
Glenwood got off to a slow start and never led in the match’s opening game. After knotting the score at 3-all, Steamboat scored the next eight points and had a 12-1 run overall to secure the first game.
“The team played well,” Guillot said of the Demons. “We just have to eliminate the errors in the beginning.”
The Demons did eliminate their mistakes in the second game. The frame see-sawed back and forth and featured 29 sideout points as the hitters went head-to head. With Glenwood leading 12-10, the Demons’ top hitter, Amber Sutherland, and Carter traded kills on six consecutive sideout points.
“This was state-level competition,” Steamboat coach Wendy Hall said. “There were two really good teams and it was the kind of volleyball you normally see at the end of the season.”
The Demons and Sutherland, who led Glenwood with eight kills, would eventually win the battle for the second game, but Carter and the Sailors won the war in the third game.
“We made some crucial mistakes in the first and third games,” Guillot said. “Steamboat has good hitters and you can’t ever give them anything.”
Like the first game, Glenwood couldn’t get the offense in gear early in the third game.
Leading 2-1, the Sailors rattled off six points for an 8-1 advantage. Glenwood rallied to cut the lead to 9-4 but wouldn’t get closer any closer.
Sutherland added three blocks to her team-high kill total and freshman middle blocker Leanna Lawson had a solid effort for the Demons with five kills and four blocks.
“Leanna did really well,” Guillot said. “She really stepped up and played.”
Steamboat’s Bayli Stillwell had a match-high seven blocks to go along with seven kills and teammate Lizzie Sack notched five kills and three blocks.
The Demons face another WSL power in Palisade Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
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