Faith Christian players put on brave faces despite being unhappy their season was over as they shook hands with Lutheran players after the Eagles lost 3-1 in the semifinals of the Nov. 11 Class 3A state volleyball championship tournament.
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“We didn’t want the season to end but I am very proud of the girls and the way they played tonight and all season,” Eagles Coach Chris Powers said after the semifinal match. “This is a great group of girls. They love the Lord and they love each other. They played hard, played for each other and had fun playing for the Eagles all season. Today they played hard and so did Lutheran. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. Tonight we lost.”
The loss in the semifinals ended play for Faith Christian that put together a 16-6 regular season record which earned a spot in the postseason playoffs.
The first step to the state tournament was Class 3A regionals. It was a three-team round robin pool format with the pool champion advancing to the state tournament.
The Eagles earned a spot at state by becoming pool champions as they defeated Rye 3-0 and Aspen 3-1. The scene then shifted to the Denver Coliseum Nov. 10 and 11 for the state tournament. The format for the first round of the state playoffs as divided the 12 regional champions into four pools of three teams for round robin play with each with the pool champion advancing to the Nov. 11 state semifinals.
In the state playoffs the Eagles defeated Valley 3-0 in their first pool play match. Faith Christian played aggressive volleyball with six players contributing to the team total of 48 kills. Three players, Maddie Cavalieri, Sophia Keister and her sister Bella, each had eight kills.
Holy Family secured a spot in the Class 3A semifinals as they won their pool play championship with a 3-1 win over Buena Vista. It was a big night for Alma Randall as she led the team attack with 20 kills. Teammate Ryanne Ferro had 10 kills.
The next step in the tournament was the state 3A semifinal match against Lutheran on Nov. 11. Every set was a battle and no easy points were scored by either team. But the Lions got the key points when needed and won the match in three sets, 25-22, 25-23 and 25-23.
The Eagles mounted a strong attack against Lutheran with eight players making a total of 42 kills. Alma Randall led the team with 15 kills and Ryanne Ferro had 11. Taynin Abbot and Bella Keister made 15 digs each and Allure Padilla led the team assists with 22.
Abbott, a senior, said it has been an amazing year for her and for the team.
“It has been a great time as I have been able to really bond with my teammates to make long-lasting friendships,” she said with a smile. “It has been fun to play with friends by my side. It also has been fun because we all love each other and everyone is super talented so this is a good volleyball team.”
She said she is the defensive specialist called the libero.
“I love the position. I love to pick up the big hits from the other team and to see the disappointment on their faces because their hit didn’t score a point,” she said. “It is a physically demanding position because I dive on the floor a lot but it is so much fun it is worth the bumps and bruises I get doing it.”
Coach Powers said it has been a great year for Faith Christian volleyball.
“This year is a step forward,” Coach Powers said. “We won one match and lost one match in regionals in 2015 and 2016. This year we won regionals, came to state and got to the semifinals. We came to state three years ago and only one of our players was on that team. We lose some senior starters to graduation but we also have strong players who will be back with us next year. We also had a good junior varsity team so the future looks good for Eagles volleyball.”
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