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Feeling challenged, Cheyenne Mountain blitzes Coronado for another league volleyball crown
Hannah Huffman heard the challenge and then spiked it down.
Huffman picked up a paper Wednesday to see that Cheyenne Mountain would play Coronado in the finals of the 4A Metro crossover. She also read that the Cougars’ Demi Coca was ready to beat an Indians team that hasn’t lost to a fellow 4A foe since 2008.
It didn't happen, as Huffman and Cheyenne Mountain crushed Coronado 25-13, 25-12, 25-9.
“I read the paper and it motivated me a bit … it said (Coronado) wanted to kick butt here, or something,” she said. “So I just came out hitting hard and it worked out.”
Huffman led the team with 11 kills and added eight digs.
The teams were on a collision course this season, coming into the championship match with perfect records and only five dropped games all year.
But in front of an overflowing gym at Cheyenne Mountain, the match told a decidedly one-sided story.
Cheyenne Mountain posted 44 kills out of its 79 attempts. Coronado had only 56 attack attempts and converted just 10 of those, as Coca led all Cougars with four kills.
Coronado coach Don Lash said he didn’t understand why he saw such a timid Cougars team on the big stage.
“I don’t know what happened,” Lash said. “After the first game we didn’t have confidence anymore. When you don’t play with confidence you don’t play well.”
Cheyenne Mountain’s Janae Vander Ploeg, who had 10 kills and seven digs, said it was the Indians’ best performance of the season – and gave props to setter Monique Domme, who dished out 30 assists.
“She was all over the court setting us up,” Vander Ploeg said. “They never knew where she was going to be.”
After the sweep, the court was littered with visibly upset Coronado players.
“We weren’t disciplined on defense and there is always room for improvement,” said Serina Nickle, nicknamed “Goggles” by her teammates because she wears tinted goggles on the court. “But we aren’t going to let this bring us down as a team, and we all love each other so much.”
Her coach said it’s time to move on to districts, but Coronado won’t forget this loss.
“We need to learn from it,” Lash said.