Valor Christian’s girls volleyball team accomplished something that many teams only dream about.
The Eagles defeated Rock Canyon 3-0 to capture the Class 5A state championship on Nov. 12 at the Denver Coliseum and wrap up an 29-0 season.
“The team played amazing,” said coach Jayne McHugh. “I don’t think they even thought about being undefeated. All they wanted to do was play for each other and give it all they had.
“It’s not normal. I kept telling these girls that what they are doing is not normal and to make sure they cherish every moment because it’s fleeting.”
With Erin McNair, Sasha Cohen, Delaney Russell and Chloe Elarton leading the way, Valor notched an easy 25-12 win in the first set, won the second set 25-19 and had to work hard for a 25-23 win in the third set and the sweep.
“Coming in, everybody wanted to beat us but we did better than everybody else,” said senior McNair. “It feels real good. We played really good. We played together.”
Elarton was feeling out of this world after winning the state title.
“We played amazing,” she said. “We relied on one another and leaned on each other the entire time. We really played as a team. There was definitely a lot of pressure but we handled it very well. We forced each other to handle it. It doesn’t feel real.”
McNair had nine kills in the title match, one more than Grace Langer. Skyla Morgan had seven kills. Taylor Bowman and Langer each had three blocks. Russell had 17 digs while Elarton had 29 assists and 10 digs.
Coach Angela Nylund-Hanson’s Rock Canyon team (24-5) defeated rival Chaparral 3-1 and downed Cherry Creek 3-2 to advance to the semifinals where the Jaguars outlasted Grandview, 3-1.
Defending state champion Cherry Creek rallied to beat Cherokee Trail 3-2 in the first round and got past Mountain Vista 3-0 but lost to Rock Canyon 2-3 before being ousted by Rampart 1-3 in the elimination bracket.
Mountain Vista beat Chatfield 3-1 but lost to Cherry Creek and Chaparral 3-1.
Heritage lost its first two matches in the tournament, 0-3 to Chaparral and 2-3 to Rampart.
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