Battle Mountain coach Jason Fitzgerald wasn't sure what was up.-
Pressed on why his team had lost five straight - three in five games and two in straight sets - the coach simply shrugged his shoulders.-
To him there wasn't a great explanation.-
"We just couldn't get chemistry, couldn't get our emotions right," he said. "Something happened between Sunday and now. I don't know what it is. I don't know what movie they watched together. I don't know what happened."-
Whatever happened the result was a dominant 3-0 win against Steamboat. Battle Mountain got the ball to outside hitters LaRose Currie and Mackenzie Ellison and the rest seemed to take care of itself. The Huskies won 25-19, 25-21 and 25-10.-
The Huskies didn't look like a team that lost five in a row, including four against Western Slope League competition. Instead, thanks in large part to a versatile offense and the big swings of Currie and Ellison, the Huskies looked the part of one of the top teams in the league.-
"I've thought we match up well," Fitzgerald said. "But on any given night in this league it's tough. We've proven that because we've dropped four straight league games. But I think we're in that hunt too."
Initially the two teams battled through the first two games, the Huskies finding the right moments for big plays.-
The two teams shared leads at 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20 in the second game before Battle Mountain started to impose its will.-
"If there is any stat that should have shined tonight it's blocking," said Steamboat coach Wendy Hall, whose team registered just two blocks. As many times as they took hard swings, I don't think we made good reads. I think we were a step behind and I think we got intimidated. Blockers have to be fierce."
Steamboat had all but packed it in by the third set. Battle Mountain continued to feed LaRose and Ellison.-
Each finished with 13 kills, while LaRose added 17 digs.-
Alex Feeley led Steamboat with 11 kills, but the next closest Sailors player had just three.-
The Sailors also had just 21 kills on 79 swings, to go along with 18 hitting errors.-
Now the race in the league is officially on.-
Steamboat dropped to 7-7 overall and 3-4 in league play. The Sailors are currently in fourth, in a league that may get just three regional spots.-
Battle Mountain improved to 4-6 and 2-4.-
"I think when we're in situations like that, your competitive nature has to rise up to that," Hall said. "We didn't do that and it's that simple. I can't have one or two fighting and the rest scared to death."
Battle Mountain next plays at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at home against Summit. Steamboat plays at 3 p.m. Saturday against Summit.-