Eagle Valley sinks Steamboat to continue six-year winning streak against Sailors


Eagle Valley High School senior Evie Geddes-Boyd blocks a shot from Steamboat Springs High School senior Dani Weber during a game on Tuesday night.
Shelby Reardon / Steamboat Pilot and Today

The volleyball teams at Steamboat Springs and Eagle Valley high schools have long been enemies. The Sailors look forward to meeting the Devils each fall, seeking to end the losing streak that has gone on for too long.

The last time Steamboat Springs beat the Devils was on October 22, 2015, when the Sailors were the survivors of a five-set thriller, in which two sets saw extra points. Since then, the Devils have won 11 straight wins over the Sailors, recently beating them 3-1 at home in mid-September.

Steamboat won the first set on Tuesday night, but Eagle Valley won the next three to keep the streak alive.

“I think (Steamboat) are one of the toughest teams on the West Slope so it’s always fun to play them,” said Kylee Hughes, senior at Battle Mountain. “They have a pretty good coach, and she knows the game well, so I think that helps a lot.”

Once the devils began to serve, the sailors began to slip. They struggled to receive services. Their second hit was usually someone chasing the ball, making the third a last ditch effort to get the ball over the net. This made it possible for Eagle Valley to execute their attack very easily.

“It’s definitely one of our strengths this season,” said Eagle Valley head coach Mike Garvey. “We missed six serves in the first set. … Then sets two, three, four which have become our advantage.

Steamboat was out of control and out of the system in the third, reacting frantically to the Eagle Valley offensive. The Devils placed the ball so well that the Sailors pulled out a fist to keep it from hitting the ground, only to send the ball to an inaccessible corner. Two Steamboat players watched, without speaking, as the ball fell between them, not knowing who it was. The Devils slid effortlessly to a 25-13 victory to take a 2-1 lead.

“It’s their tactic. They are ready to miss some serves, ”said Steamboat Springs head coach Wendy Hall. “It’s a little different from the way we behave. We were definitely a bit shaken up tonight, unfortunately. There is no reason for this. They are all such great players.

Hall told his team they weren’t playing together. Whether they play poorly or wonderfully, they must support each other. Something, she said, clicked.

Junior Ashlyn Robson served her side to a 6-0 lead in the fourth, but the Devils quickly recovered to tie the set at 10.

Steamboat developed another small lead, but hits from sophomore Talia Crawford and senior Kylee Hughes again tied the set at 16. A block from Crawford gave the Devils an 18-17 lead.

Sophie Diehl, a senior on the Steamboat Springs High School volleyball team, stands up to hit the ball during a game against Eagle Valley on Tuesday night.
Shelby Reardon / Steamboat Pilot and Today

Steamboat wouldn’t go down easily, however. Sophie Diehl used a huge blow to keep the game tight and tied at 21.

Eagle Valley remembered their motto, “fight” and finished in the top 25-22.

“We didn’t give up,” said Hughes. “One of our (mottos) is ‘fight’. So we try to find our fight and keep going. “

Eagle Valley High School senior Evie Geddes-Boyd serves in a game at Steamboat Springs on Tuesday night.
Shelby Reardon / Steamboat Pilot and Today

The loss was the last home game for the seven seniors at Steamboat. They travel to face Battle Mountain on Wednesday.

“I feel bad for them that they didn’t win tonight,” Hall said. “I feel like there’s something to be taken away from this fourth set after you really didn’t play well in the second and third and got to bounce back a bit.”

Eagle Valley 3, Steamboat Springs 1

SS 25 17 13 22 – 1

FR 23 25 25 25 – 3