Summit High volleyball loses to Steamboat |

Summit High volleyball loses to Steamboat

Summit Daily/Brad OdekirkSophomore Anicia Santos takes a serve and is surrounded by help Tuesday evening in a match against Golden.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS – The Summit High School volleyball team suffered its first loss since Oct. 6 on Saturday, falling to the Steamboat Sailors in three games, 25-13, 25-21 and 25-16.The match was a nonleague contest between the No. 2 team in the Class 4A Jeffco League and the No. 2 team in the Class 4A Western Slope League. “That was one of the best teams I’ve seen,” said SHS head coach Gary Sorensen of Steamboat. “I’m kind of surprised they are only second in the Western Slope League. They were big and talented, and they outgunned us and outblocked us.” Sorensen said the Tigers played well considering they were facing a team with four starters who were 6 feet or taller.”They had a 6-foot-3 girl, a 6-foot-1 girl, and two 6-footers,” he said. “That’s as big as a boys team. That was a better team, there’s no question about it.”

The Sailors’ powerful front line effectively shut down Summit’s tallest player, 5-foot-11 Anicia Santos, holding her to four kills when she often hits double digits. Senior Sara Olbright pounded nine balls to the floor to lead the Tigers, continuing a strong stretch for the tri-captain. Despite the loss, Sorensen saw some of the same traits that have carried the Tigers to a 7-1 league record and a 10-7 overall record.”They didn’t quit. Even after getting crushed in the first game, they came back and kept the second game close,” the first-year coach said. “It’s a good indication of their will to win. They played a really good match considering the size of the other team.” Ralston looms

Summit is still carrying a lot of confidence into Wednesday night’s date with the state’s No. 1 4A team, the Ralston Valley Mustangs. The match, which is Summit’s final regular season contest, begins at 7 p.m. at Summit High.If anything, Saturday’s loss may inspire the Tigers to rebound in a dominant fashion, like they did when they crushed Evergreen on Oct. 8 after back-to-back losses to Kent Denver on Oct. 2 and Elizabeth on Oct. 6. And when SHS came from behind to beat Golden in five games on Oct. 12, the Tigers proved they are capable of beating anyone – when they put their minds to it. Summit will definitely have to show up with its “A” game on Wednesday to take down a team that no Jeffco school has been able to beat this year.Like the Sailors, the Mustangs carry a powerful and talented front line. Led by seniors Christine Casagranda and Tricia Leger, the Mustangs have only lost twice this year – once to the No. 3 5A school in the state, Heritage, and once to Colorado Springs 4A powerhouse Cheyenne Mountain. Backing up Casagranda and Leger are eight senior teammates who have been digging, passing, setting, attacking and killing together for four years. The team is also coming off of a sixth-place finish in last year’s state tournament – one that they considered disappointing.

Still, Lisa Nelson, the Mustangs’ head coach, expects a hard-fought match on Wednesday.”I suspect both teams will come out and be ready to play,” she said. “I think both teams are going to be anxious, nervous and excited, and I definitely anticipate a competitive, well-fought battle between both teams.”Chances are, that’s exactly what Nelson will get. In the final practices leading up to Wednesday night’s match, Sorensen plans to work on building up his girls’ confidence.”We’re going to have to deal with identifying where the block is and hit around them,” Sorensen said. “I hope we’re hot (on Wednesday night), and we’re liable to be. You just don’t know until you walk out on the court and start playing.” Richard Chittick can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236 or at

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