Sailors beat Huskies; wrap the 4A Slope | VailDaily.com

Sailors beat Huskies; wrap the 4A Slope

Battle Mountain's Valentina Montenegro, left, and Jessica Sullivan get vertical to defend against Steamboat's Micah Feeley during Thursday's match in Edwards. The Sailors won in four games, clinching the 4A Slope.
Chris Dillmann | Special to the Daily |

EDWARDS — Steamboat Springs simplified everything when it comes to the 4A Slope.

The Sailors topped Battle Mountain in four, 17-25, 25-20, 25-18, 25-20, to clinch the league title outright, relieving all involved of the possibility of a four-way tie for the crown.

Surprisingly, it’s Steamboat’s first league title since 2002, and Sailors coach Wendy Hall, who is a fixture in gyms throughout the state, was deeply moved.

“It’s huge,” she said, choking back her emotions. “We’ve been in this together since they were in the seventh grade. I’ve wanted it for them so bad. It means a lot.”

Steamboat finished the regular season at 18-4 with a 12-2 Slope record, and the Sailors should be home for regionals next weekend when maxpreps.com spits out its final rankings on Sunday.

“They were really grooving tonight,” Huskies coach Jason Fitzgerald said. “I’m really proud of Steamboat’s team. They absolutely deserve to be the league champions. We have them the best we had tonight and they had an answer for that.”

The Huskies played well. Steamboat played better. Hall said that the Sailors’ ability to run the quick hit in Game 2 helped her team open up their attack. While Battle Mountain did a good job of covering Sailors’ tips, Steamboat started rolling behind outside hitters Hayley Johnson and Jenna Miller.

CONGRATS, SENIORS

In the meantime, it was Senior Night for the Huskies , so hats off to Jordan Brandt, Abby Davidson, Valentina Montenegro, Jessica Sullivan and Julia Pinho.

“This has been an amazing group of seniors,” Fitzgerald said. “It’s going to be tough. As we graduate girls year after year, you think you’ll never replace them. You have to find a way. They are personalities that are hard to say goodbye to, for sure.”

The good news is that Huskies aren’t done yet. At 14-8, they’re well within the top 36 in the rankings for regionals. They’ll get their draw on Sunday

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, cfreud@vaildaily.com and @cfreud.