Volleyball: Cherry Creek takes 5A state championship

Greenwood Village school wins title for the first time in 13 years

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Cherry Creek High School’s volleyball team concluded three days of tough matches by taking home the Class 5A state championship trophy on Nov. 13 at the Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs.

The Cherry Creek Bruins of Greenwood Village, the top-seeded 5A team in the CHSAA state volleyball tournament, downed Centennial League rival Grandview of Aurora 3-1 to capture Creek’s sixth state volleyball title and the first in 13 years.

It was the second consecutive runner-up state tournament finish for the Grandview Wolves.

Cherry Creek finished the season with a 26-2 record while Grandview was 24-5.

Both teams were undefeated going into the semifinal matches on Nov. 13 in the tournament, which used a double-elimination Olympic crossover bracket.

“We had some tough matches. There was nothing easy,” said Creek coach Steve Huntingdale. “It was high-level volleyball. I know Cherry Creek and Grandview wanted another chance to get after it. We made a few more plays than they did.”

Grandview defeated Cherry Creek 3-1 in an earlier Centennial League showdown but the Bruins were the better team in the state finals.

Creek won the first set, 27-25, but lost the second, 26-28. Then the Bruins prevailed in the third and fourth sets, winning 25-17 and 25-14.

“The first two sets were really tight,” said Grandview coach Rob Graham, who is the former coach at Parker-area Ponderosa and guided the Mustangs to the 2009 state title. “They were just a little bit too good for us. It was a battle and a long three days. There was high level volleyball on the 5A level.”

Carter Booth, a 6-7 senior who is the daughter of Nuggets general manager Calvin Booth, was the leader for the Bruins and she got front line support from Ryan Pollard, Anna Van Wyk, Kaegan Wherry and Campbell Kreider. Natalia Landry and Riley Warner handled the defensive chores in the backcourt.

“She is maybe the most brilliant, smartest player I know,” said Huntingdale about Booth. “Her teammates trust what she says and that added to their confidence.”

Booth is going to play next season at the University of Minnesota.

“It feels great to win,” she said. “It’s just surreal. We worked so hard. There was definitely pressure coming into the tournament being seeded first. We played for each other.

“It was sweet and now I can go into the next chapter. It was a battle. We knew each team we played wanted it just as bad as we did. Each time I came out I would go fight, fight because it was a battle and we couldn’t let up.”

Haley Glunz was a force at the net for the Wolves.

Cherry Creek was tested in the semifinals with a match against second-seeded Chaparral of the Parker area, which defeated Ralston Valley of Arvada 3-1 to advance to the semis. Creek downed Chap 3-2 and won the decisive fifth set 15-9.

Grandview eliminated Mountain Vista of Highlands Ranch 3-1 to move into the semifinals. Vista’s Golden Eagles had swept Parker-area Legend 3-0 earlier in the day.

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