COLORADO SPRINGS — Ralston Valley’s girls volleyball team that finished with a 17-1 record and berth in the Class 5A state semifinals won’t be forgotten anytime soon. “No Ralston Valley …
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COLORADO SPRINGS — Ralston Valley’s girls volleyball team that finished with a 17-1 record and berth in the Class 5A state semifinals won’t be forgotten anytime soon.
“No Ralston Valley volleyball team had ever made it to the state semifinals before,” Ralston Valley senior Taylor Scherff said shortly after the Mustangs’ season came to an end. “That was a great accomplishment for this team. We really did this as a team. Everyone played their part. Everyone is strong. Everyone had something to give.”
The No. 3-seeded Mustangs defeated 5A Jeffco League rival 3-0 during a late-night 5A state quarterfinal match Wednesday, May 12, at the World Arena in Colorado Springs. The victory set up a semifinal date May 13 against No. 2 Rampart.
The Rams (13-1) proved to be too much for Ralston Valley. Rampart took a 25-18, 20-25, 25-21, 25-17 victory on its way to winning its first state volleyball title later than night against Grandview.
“We knew our best chance was to slow down their outside hitters,” Ralston Valley coach Ashley Ahlman said. “I think we executed with that well. I just think it took a lot of and energy and wore us down a little bit.”
Rampart’s senior tandem of Anjelina Starck Kyla Blatnick proved to be too tough for Ralston Valley. The two combined for 42 kills in the match.
“I’m just going to miss it a lot,” an emotional Ahlman said outside the arena after the loss. “I’m not even mad about the loss. I’m just sad that it’s over.”
There was a question if Ralston Valley would even get to compete at state due to COVID-19 issues the team delete with the week between regionals and state.
“It was pretty crazy with the whole quarantine thing,” Scherff said referring the Mustangs being quarantined the week before the state tournament. “I think the whole team was really grateful to be here. This group has grown up together. I think at the end of the day — even if it didn’t end the way we wanted to — we were just grateful to have one last great experience together.”
It was a great experience for the Mustangs this year in sweeping the 5A Jeffco League that included two other state qualifiers in Chatfield and Columbine. Along with winning
the regional title to qualify for the small 8-team state tournament field during the Season C.
“Not everything is a guarantee,” Ahlman said. “You have to go out and battle. I really think we battled against a really, really good Rampart team.”
Ralston Valley does graduate eight seniors, but will have a solid core returning. Juniors Morgan McChesney, Emerson Reinke, Jordan Wisner and freshman Maddy Dominick will all be back next year.
“I really hope the returning players take this experience and run with it,” said Scherff, who plans on playing beach volleyball for Colorado Mesa University. “Now that they have been to the state semifinals they know what they want. They are going to be hungry for a win next year.”
While Ahlman is excited about the Fall 2021 season that is right around the corner, she know how special this team was.
“I’ll probably take a few weeks off before getting back in the gym,” Ahlman said of preparing for the Fall 2021 season. “I’m looking forward to that, but today it’s hard to say goodbye to the seniors.”
Dennis Pleuss is the Sports Information Director for Jeffco Public Schools. For more Jeffco coverage go to CHSAANow.com/Jeffco.
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