Preps: Steamboat drives home win over Aspen volleyball, AHS boys soccer falls

Shelby Reardon
Steamboat Pilot & Today
Steamboat’s Tya Drennan slams the ball over the net during a game against Aspen on Thursday.
Photo by Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — On match point, the Steamboat Springs High School setter passed the ball to Tya Drennan. The Sailors sophomore had been hot all evening, and in the key moment, she did not disappoint. She rose off the floor, connected with the ball and found a hole in the Aspen lineup.

The kill earned Steamboat volleyball the 25-17 set win and the 3-0 victory over Aspen on Thursday night. The Sailors won the first two sets 25-13.

“I think it went amazing. We all played really well together,” said Sailors senior Jadyn Robson. “This year — the juniors and seniors — we have such a great connection, and Tya being a sophomore, she came up and played amazing. We just have a great connection, and it showed on the court.”

Drennan was spectacular. She had four kills and a number of other point-earning blows. She may have been the tallest on the floor, but her confidence despite her youth is what made her a force to be reckoned with.

The varsity newcomer was just one cog in an effortless Steamboat offense. Senior setter Emily Schneider distributed the ball evenly, and Marcada Baker and Robson were merciless at the net. Baker had nine kills, and Robson earned 13.

“I was really impressed with our ball control tonight,” said Steamboat head coach Wendy Hall. “When we did show a little nerves on passing, we were able to brush it off quickly and refocus. I was most impressed with our defensive coverage. I can’t think of one ball that dropped between two players.”

Aspen wasn’t quick on its feet. The Skiers were slow to react to tips and if a pass went any distance out of bounds, no one was able to get there. At least until the third set.

Steamboat accrued a hefty 11-3 lead early on.

“I would like a side-out, now,” Aspen coach Brittany Zanin said to her team.

The Skiers granted her request. They earned the next point, sending senior Megahnn Smiddy to the service line. A Steamboat error gave Aspen another point, and a gutsy dive from Smiddy sent the ball barely over the net, bringing the score to 11-6.

“This group is so good at working together,” Zanin said. “They turn it on just a little too late, is the problem. … What changes, is they get out of their own heads. They figure it out. They’re a young group, a very young group, and I have a senior setting that’s never set before. So all new things. All things considered, I’m happy with the fight.”

Steamboat put up a few more points, but Aspen stayed steady, keeping it close at 15-8. Moments later, a block from junior Bella Haneman made it 15-10.

Looking like an entirely different team, the Skiers rallied to earn the next point. A tip bopped the ball into the net, but a Skier was there to hit the ball upwards off the bounce. Aspen stayed calm and watched as Steamboat failed to control the hit. Point, Skiers.

After another Sailors error made it 15-12, Hall called timeout. She calmed her team, who then went on a 10-5 run to win the set.

“I think we feel confident,” Robson said. “Since today was such a good game, I think that we hold high standards for ourselves to succeed and do better.”

Gallery caption: Photos: Aspen boys soccer vs Coal Ridge

Aspen boys soccer falls to Coal Ridge

The Aspen High School boys soccer team lost 7-1 at home against Coal Ridge on Thursday in its season opener on the AHS turf. The Titans (2-0) led 4-1 at halftime in what was a relatively close game until late in the first half.

The Skiers (0-1) entered the season ranked No. 11 in Class 3A in the preseason poll. Coal Ridge entered ranked No. 10 in the state, while Roaring Fork is preseason No. 5.

Aspen next plays Tuesday at Basalt (0-1). The Longhorns opened their season Tuesday at Grand Junction, falling 9-0.

— Austin Colbert, The Aspen Times