Tigers aim for high-level finish

As far as the Hayden volleyball team is concerned, whatever happened in August or September or even early October is of little importance.

The Tigers had "the talk" after losing to Baggs, Wyo., on Oct. 7 and decided at that point to commit themselves to playing a high level of volleyball for the remainder of the season.

Coach Amber Carney said the change in attitude was apparent in Saturday's match against West Grand. The Tigers played hard for the duration of the match, winning the first game, 25-23, before losing the next three 15-25, 20-25, 26-28.

"The girls were a little disheartened after our game against Baggs," Carney said. "They felt like they should have been able to step it up a little more. We sat down and had the talk and decided we only had one direction to go, and it really showed in the match against West Grand."

Carney added that the Tigers have found their confidence and are determined to play hard for every point the season has to offer.

The postseason doesn't begin until Tuesday, when Hayden will meet Soroco or Plateau Valley in a pigtail match to determine the final entrant into the district tournament. But the Tigers plan on treating this weekend's matches as if the postseason already has arrived.

Hayden hosts Soroco at 6 p.m. today in a homecoming contest before turning around and hosting Grand Valley at 3 p.m. Saturday. The freshmen and junior varsity will precede the varsity matches.

The Tigers defeated the Rams earlier this season, but Carney is certain both teams have changed and improved since Sept. 5.

"I see a match with long rallies," Carney said. "When we played Soroco earlier, they were determined not to let the ball die, and we play a similar-type game. The girls have to stay up and on top of things. It's going to be a packed gym with lots of loud fans. Between the two of us, whichever team can come out with greater intensity and intent is going to come out the winner."

-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208 or e-mail mmawdsley@steamboatpilot.com

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