Summit spikers lose in 5 to Steamboat at home
Summit vs. Steamboat — Oct. 20
S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 Wins
Summit 25 19 18 25 6 2
SSHS 19 25 25 17 15 3
Three was nearly Summit’s magic number.
On Thursday night, with a crowd split almost evenly between home fans and visiting parents, the Lady Tigers faced the Steamboat Springs Sailors for the first time since a 0-3 loss on Oct. 6. After a shaky middle of the season, Summit needed a win to build on a 2-0 run that started with Rifle on Oct. 13 and Glenwood Springs on Oct. 15. Back-to-back-to-back wins would’ve been sweet, and at 6-9 overall and 4-5 in the 4A Western Slope, a third win also would’ve given the hometown girls a .500 record heading into the final two games of the regular season.
Summit won the first set against Steamboat, lost the second and third sets — it was do or die at that point — and then rebounded in the fourth set to force a 15-point fifth set. It was only the second time this season Summit has gone the distance, and the first time was the latest win against Glenwood.
Summit looked fierce in the opening set, with pinpoint hitting from sophomore AnnaMarie Dodson and senior Sam Buer. The starting blockers, sophomores Mia Popoff and Emma McComb, did a bang-up job of shutting down the Sailors’ big outside scoring threat, 6-foot sophomore Anna Allsbury. The offense was firing, the defense was clicking and everything was coming together for head coach Liz Waddick’s crew.
“They made a bunch of good comebacks, and they did it in the sets, too,” Waddick said. The trick: Summit led the entire time. They never let Steamboat get closer than three points after pulling ahead 13-10 and ended with a crucial first-set win, 25-19.
Momentum shifted early in the second set. Summit never held the lead, and lost, 19-25. They came within one point on two occasions, but a mix of tough blocking and sloppy mistakes dug a hole they couldn’t escape.
The third set was slightly better, but only slightly. Summit let the lead slip early at 4-3, and at one point dropped to seven points back at 15-22. The entire team was serving well and junior Sage Kent had several clutch digs, but Waddick could tell her team was rattled during the 18-25 loss.
“In the second and third (sets) you could see them look defeated,” Waddick said. “We stopped doing the things we’ve been working on, and that was a clear loss of confidence.”
The Lady Tigers won the first point in the fourth set and looked ready to fight. Again, they held the lead from start to finish and never let the Sailors get closer than three points, capitalizing on chaotic play when Steamboat sent the ball into the net on serves and sets. The fourth ended in a Summit win, 25-17, to force the fifth set.
“In that fourth set, when they got their confidence back, that’s the team they can be every time,” Waddick said. “They were believing in each other and believing in themselves.”
The final set was over almost before it began. The Sailors pulled ahead early, 2-6, and this time around, three was Steamboat’s magic number. The Lady Tigers cut the lead to 3-6 and then let things slip to lose the set, 6-15, and the match.
“I hope they’re proud of themselves,” Waddick said. “They showed a lot of good stuff, and they’re getting better every time. I guess I’m just sad that they worked as hard as they did and didn’t come away with the win.”
The Tigers are now 6-10 overall and 4-6 in the 4A Slope. They next host Battle Mountain (12-6 overall, 6-5 league) on Oct. 25 for Senior Night. Tip-off is at 6:30 p.m.
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