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Cheyenne Mountain claims fifth straight volleyball title, beating Lewis-Palmer
DENVER • Having just dropped the second set to draw the 4A championship match Saturday at the Denver Coliseum even, Cheyenne Mountain quickly went into a 14-4 hole in the third set. That’s when coach David Barkley called a timeout.
“I told them one point at a time and celebrate each point,” Barkley said.
The Indians did exactly as instructed, reeling off runs of four, six and three points, the last of which clinched the set. Cheyenne Mountain then rolled in the fourth set to claim its fifth straight state championship with a 27-25, 21-25, 27-25, 25-17 victory over Lewis-Palmer.
“I told the kids that this was perhaps the most glorious moment in the history of this program, especially to do that against an unbelievably good program like Lewis-Palmer,” Barkley said. “We have a lot of respect for them.”
While it’s the fifth straight title for the Indians, this one is a little more special. Cheyenne Mountain returned just three starters, Maddie Beal, Monique Domme and Megan Schultz, from last year’s team.
“It’s very special, there’s no question about that,” Barkley said. “Especially since we looked so ragged in our preseason scrimmages.”
Lewis-Palmer looked to have taken control of the match after finishing its second-set win with a 9-2 run and then beginning the third set so strong.
“This one hurts a little bit because the kids played really hard,” Lewis-Palmer coach Susan Odenbaugh said. “I think what really hurt was that lead we built in the third set and then allowed them to come back. I think that probably gave them more momentum and confidence.”
Mara Barkley led Cheyenne Mountain (25-4) with 17 kills and Beal had 13. Claire Felix led Lewis-Palmer with 15 kills, while Alexa Smith added 14, eight of which came in the first set.
It was the second time in the past four years that these teams played for a 4A state championship. Cheyenne Mountain also won in 2009.
“We need to celebrate the fact that we got to play in the championship game,” Odenbaugh said. “We can be very proud of that.”
Also proud are the graduating Cheyenne Mountain seniors who have won a state title in every season as an Indian. One of those, Domme, said that the improvement of the team over the course of the season and the nature of Saturday’s dramatic comeback made this title a little more special than her previous three.
“It feels amazing, it really does,” said Domme, who had 47 assists. “We played as a team. We played with heart, you have to to beat a team like L-P.”
You also have to do that to win five straight state titles.