When it comes to Steamboat Springs versus Moffat County, you can pretty much throw out records, stats and home-court advantage.
The two rivals butted heads Tuesday in girls volleyball, in front of a packed house celebrating homecoming at Moffat County High School.
But despite the loud crowd and the home festivities, the Sailors were the team who came away victorious.
Steamboat used aggressive net play by senior Maggie Kriz and junior Colleen King to spoil the Bulldogs party, sweeping MCHS, 25-21, 25-23 and 25-17.
"There is never a problem to be pumped up to play Moffat County," Sailors coach Wendy Hall said. "It's always a big match for us every year with the fan support coming down the highway. It's not about getting up for it, it's about keeping them focused."
And the Sailors showed their coach they had the focus she mentioned from the onset.
Trailing, 4-0, to start the first game, Steamboat turned it up a notch.
A kill by Devin Wilkinson tied the game at 8, and a deep volley by King (five kills, six blocks and 15 assists) had Moffat County on its heels, trailing, 14-10.
Bulldog junior Sara Kurz (two blocks, four kills) was a force at the net, making her presence felt in just her third varsity match, helping pull Moffat County to within one at 17-16.
But, two more kills by Wilkinson halted the Bulldog comeback and the Sailors prevailed, 25-21.
Game No. 2 was a see-saw battle that could have gone either way, but this year hasn't been the way of the Bulldog.
A kill by sophomore Lauren Roberts gave Moffat County a 10-6 lead and a kill by senior Ariel Sanchez had the home team on top, 18-16.
But once again, the Sailors fought back.
A tip by King put Steamboat up one, and with the score, 24-23, in the visitor's favor, Kriz's kill halted the Bulldogs attempt at evening the match.
Moffat County led Game 3, but like the two previous games it led, the Sailors came back.
A stuff block by King broke a four-all tie, and a kill by Sara Williams opened the floodgates.
By the time Bulldog senior Megan Trujillo crushed a ball to Steamboat's side of the floor, Moffat County trailed, 15-9.
Fittingly, up 24-17, King had an emphatic kill to end the match.
And, the Bulldogs' homecoming celebration.
"I don't know that records matter when we play each other," MCHS coach Brianna Montgomery said. "I think everything has improved since we last played Steamboat. We are taking strides in the right direction."
John Vandelinder can be reached at 875-1793 or firstname.lastname@example.org