Lady 'Dogs up to the challenge

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First place.

That's what's at stake when the Moffat County High School varsity volleyball team battles the Steamboat Springs Sailors Thursday at the high school gym.

Game time is set for 6:30 p.m. with the freshmen beginning the day at 4:30 p.m. and the junior varsity will start at 5:30 pm.

The Bulldogs are 9-7 overall and 5-2 in conference, while the Sailors enter the match with a 15-2 record and stand at 6-1 in league play.

The last time MCHS played against Steamboat Springs, the Sailors came up on top, 15-6 and 15-3. This time Bulldogs coach Vicki Haddan hopes it's a different outcome.

"The kids are really excited to play Steamboat Springs again," said Haddan. "They are hoping to play with them this time. The last time we played them we really didn't even get started and so hopefully we get to show them our game this time."

Last weekend, the Sailors downed the Glenwood Springs Demons and the Delta Panthers. Steamboat Springs coach Wendy Hall is pleased with the way her team is playing.

"I think that we are playing pretty well right now," said Hall. "We had a setback a couple of weeks ago against Rifle and since then I have changed my lineup, because we lost one of my starters to injury. Last weekend, I thought that we looked pretty good."

For the Sailors to be successful against the Bulldogs, Hall said they will need to play a solid match.

"I think that we will have to go in and play hard," said Hall. "Every time we step on the floor we need to perform. If you expect things to come to you without working hard that's when you are going to be disappointed at the end of the match."

After sweeping the Rifle Bears and the Delta Panthers, Haddan believes her team has the ability to come up on top against the Sailors.

"We will have to have more confidence in ourselves and I think that we have gotten that over the last couple of games," said Haddan. "The last time we played Steamboat Springs we just didn't have any confidence in ourselves and I hope they do now."

Bulldogs senior Sarah Haslem said the players need to communicate while they are on the floor.

"I think all we have to do is talk as a team," said Haslem. "If we are positive then we are awesome and I don't think anybody can beat us. We just need to keep our heads in the game and not be intimidated by Steamboat Springs."

Haddan said her team needs to keep everyone involved in the offense.

"We need to have a balanced attack against Steamboat Springs," said Haddan. "The main thing for us is that we need to pass well to start that attack."

Haddan encourages everybody to come out and support the Bulldogs.

"This is the biggest game of the year for us and we asked them to pull out both sides of the bleachers for us," said Haddan. "Hopefully, we will have a lot of fans here and that will make a big difference for us."

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