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Volleyball Returns to State Championship

Volleyball Returns to State Championship
  • athletics
Elizabeth Shinn

For the second consecutive year, the girls’ volleyball team competed at the 5A State Volleyball Tournament at the Denver Coliseum and finished their season as State Runners-Up.

Volleyball Returns to State Championship

On Saturday, the girls’ volleyball team competed at the 5A State Volleyball Tournament at the Denver Coliseum and finished their season as State Runners-Up.

The Eagles entered into the tournament as the No. 4 overall seed after having won their Regional tournament the weekend before. They received a first-round bye, and were set to face University Boulevard-rival Highlands Ranch on Thursday afternoon. The Eagles swept the Falcons, sending them to the elimination side of the bracket while Valor advanced.

The win set Valor up to play No. 1 overall Chaparral. The Eagles had seen Chap earlier in the year when they fell to the Wolverines in a hard-fought battle of four sets. Valor jumped out to an early lead in Friday’s rematch, but unfortunately could not hang onto it, and ultimately fell to Chap in three sets, sending them to the elimination side of the bracket.

The team had their work cut out for them on Saturday; one loss would end their season and their hopes to return to the title game. Valor faced Rampart first, and left everything on the court, defeating the Rams in an epic 5-set matchup where every point counted. The scores of each set were 25-27, 25-23, 23-25, 25-1815-11. The win placed the Eagles in the semi-final matchup where they would face No. 7 Fort Collins.

Fort Collins was coming off a huge win, having defeated No. 3 Legend in four sets, with the final set ending at 31-29. The Lambkins had energy and adrenaline heading into the matchup, but the Eagles were able to quickly sequester it, winning the semi-final game in three sets. The win advanced Valor to the State Championship game, where they would once again face Chaparral.

This game was a rematch of the 2018 State Championship game, which gave the Eagles their first ever state title last year. Looking to defend their crown, the girls came into the game more ready than ever, full of energy despite having already played two grueling games that day. Valor came out of the gates strong, winning the first set 25-23, and looked like they were about to clinch the second set when they had a 24-20 lead. But one momentum shift changed the entire game, and the Wolverines found a way to battle from behind to win Set 2, 26-24. The third set was a tough one for the Eagles; they got stuck in one server rotation for 14 points, and were not able to recover. Set 3 went to Chap, 25-11. Energy was deflating, but Valor never gave up. At one point in the fourth set, Valor trailed by 9, and it looked like Chaparral was going to run away with it, but the girls found one final burst of energy and battled all the way back, tying the game at 20-20 and again at 23-23. However, two quick points later gave Chaparral the match win and Championship trophy.

Despite graduating six seniors last year, the Eagles came back and proved that they were still among the elite of the elite. They finished with a 25-4 overall record, League Champions, Regional Champions, and 5A State Runners-Up under the direction of Head Coach Jayne McHugh.

Congratulations to our girls volleyball team on an incredible season!

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