Lutheran finished second in the Class 3A state volleyball tournament Nov. 10-11 at the Denver Coliseum, and the Lions are loaded with enough underclass talent for another visit to the Denver venue next season.
Eaton won its fifth consecutive …
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Eaton won its fifth consecutive state championship with a 3-0 win over Lutheran in the championship match as the Reds swept with 25-16, 25-17 and 25-17 set wins.
“I'm very proud of the season,” Lions coach Alicia Oates said. “Eaton is phenomenal. They've been strong for so many years and they continue to be strong. They are so disciplined and talented.”
Lutheran beat Sterling, 3-1, and Bennett, 3-0, in pool play and swept Faith Christian, 3-0, in the semifinals to earn a chance to try to dethrone Eaton.
“We were a young team,” Oates said. “We had three seniors on the team who were huge contributors that we will miss greatly, but it is exciting we have a lot of freshman and sophomores. The stage at state can't be duplicated so being here definitely will help us.”
Payton Brgoch, a 6-foot-2 sophomore, had 60 kills in four matches for the Lions. Freshman Bella Vezzani was credited with 67 digs, while sophomore Kennedey Johnson had 137 assists in the 13 state tournament sets.
Lutheran finished the season with a 26-4 record.
In other state tournament action involving teams from Parker, Chaparral won its Class 5A pool with a 3-0 win over Fort Collins and a 3-1 triumph over Fruita Monument on the first day of the tournament Nov. 10.
The Wolverines were swept in the semifinals on Nov. 11 by Cherry Creek as Chaparral could never establish any momentum in the 3-0 setback to the Bruins.
“Part of it was we hadn't played in 24 hours,” Chaparral coach Amanda West said. “We couldn't get anything going. We did some good things this season.
“We started 1-3 and went 22-5 by the end. So we were pleased with how we ended. We played our best volleyball at the end except for that Creek game. Two of our main kids are sophomores and the most are juniors. We have a couple seniors we will miss a lot. We have a lot talent returning.”
Senior Grace Haberland collected 29 kills in the three matches to pace the Chap front line. Junior Kyla Gerson had 45 digs and senior Haley Roberts had a tournament total of 54 assists.
Ponderosa split two games in Class 4A pool play but failed to advance to the semifinals. The Mustangs lost 3-1 to Holy Family but came back with a 3-2 win over D'Evelyn.
The Mustangs, which play in the Class 5A Continental League, ended the year with a 12-15 record.
“It helped us playing in the Continental League because we played tough teams,” said Pondo coach Deb Barnes. “It helped develop the speed of our team and made us better players. Nobody likes to lose but we had some great leadership on the team.
“The Holy Family game didn't go in our favor but we played hard and I'm super proud. I don't think happy can't really express how I feel about the season. I'm really proud of them. They worked very hard.”
Seniors Kristen Smith and Abigail Hildenbrand led the way in the two state tournament matches for the Mustangs.
Smith had 26 kills. Hildenbrand had 23 kills, 12 digs and 56 assists.
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