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Battle Mountain spikers sink Sailors

Dave Shively
Vail, CO Colorado
Battle Mountain's Devon Abbott celebrates a point in the Huskies three-game victory over Steamboat Springs in Steamboat Thursday.
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STEAMBOAT SPRINGS ” The last time the Battle Mountain girls volleyball team visited Steamboat, it rolled over the Sailors, outscoring them 75-31 in an emotional final home game. Those Huskies were a well-oiled winning machine that proved to be the best in the state.

Steamboat was hoping that the depleted ranks from that Battle Mountain squad plus the momentum from a big win at Moffat County would translate to some game wins when Battle Mountain (5-1 overall, 2-0 in league) returned on Thursday night.

But Huskies coach Brian Doyon knows that the winning mentality of a state champion doesn’t fade fast. Battle Mountain still had its unmistakable offensive swagger and the consistency at the net. Led by 18 kills from Devon Abbott, Battle Mountain beat Steamboat in three games, 25-15, 25-18, 25-23.

“We were lucky to get out of here in three,” Doyon said of a match that was closer than comfortable.

Game 3 not only featured the longest rallies, best play and fewest errors from both teams, but it also provided the definitive moment of the Huskies’ victory.

Tied at 21, Huskies hitter Kori Landauer slammed into teammate Annalisa Padget and collapsed on the floor. Choking back tears, Landauer stayed on the floor. On the next serve, she slipped a ball past the Sailors to establish a lead her team held onto for the win.

Keeping your mind in the game

“It was in our minds. We got frazzled, took a breath, and said that we needed to finish this one. We got the pass and did it,” Huskies setter Alexa Corcoran said.

Steamboat didn’t just fold, though. Down 24-21, the Sailors fought back for two points, clearly gaining the momentum. The sizable home crowd exploded with cheers after a Huskies’ hit apparently went wide to tie the game. But the referee silenced the cheers and ended the game, scoring the point for Battle Mountain by citing a Steamboat touch.

“We don’t want to be one bad call away from losing. We want to be one bad call away from recovering,” Steamboat coach Wendy Hall said. “Ultimately that’s our fault.”

Hall noted the performances of Maggie Kriz, who showed discipline in blocking Battle Mountain’s top hitters, and Colleen King, whose blocks and trio of kills in the third game helped keep Steamboat in the hunt.

Padget contributed to the Huskies’ 47 team kills with nine of her own and Jennifer Thul and Hannah Ellison each finished with seven kills.


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