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Doherty, Liberty both eliminated in 5A regional volleyball
Spartans beat Lancers in final match after fates decided
PARKER • Wearing half-hearted smiles, Doherty and Liberty warmed up to face one another in the 5A volleyball regionals at Grandview.
There was no shot at making state now. Both the Spartans and Lancers had already lost Saturday to Grandview and Cherry Creek to assure a spot outside of the state tournament. The other two teams advanced.
“It was a little hard to get motivated,” Doherty coach Tara Hittle said about the game against Liberty. “It’s like what are we playing for? But still it’s always fun and good to play.”
Doherty took one set in its first two matches. It lost to Cherry Creek 25-13, 16-25, 25-16, 25-21 and then fell to Grandview 25-21, 27-25, 25-15.
Hittle said her team stubbed its toe out of the gate.
“We didn’t play up to the level we can against Cherry Creek,” said Hittle, whose team only had a kill percentage of 13 against Creek. “We really needed to beat them, because we knew Grandview would be real tough.”
Grandview had only lost one match coming into the tournament and despite keeping it close in the first two sets, the Spartans fizzled.
The Lancers’ fate would fare the same.
Liberty was swept by Grandview (25-10, 25-19, 25-15) and Cherry Creek (25-20, 25-15, 25-18).
Lancers’ senior Tammy King said it wasn’t all a surprise.
“When the pools came out we knew we were going to be underdogs,” she said. “We knew they are really good.”
Liberty (13-13) was outscored by 53 points in those matches and totaled 32 attack errors.
In those matches Cierra Simpson led Doherty with 26 kills and Liberty’s Kristen Lee led her team with 22 kills.
In the final match of the season for both teams, each of the two sets went to a 15-15 tie, but Doherty (17-9) pulled away for the 25-16, 25-18 victory.
Making way for the Cherry Creek-Grandview match, players from both sides were emotional leaving the court.
Some, like Doherty senior Kalen Kahl, were leaving for the final time.
“We’ve progressed as a team since the first time we played (Cherry Creek and Grandview) but it’s hard,” Kahl said. “I’m proud of my team but we wanted to play better.”
Even though it was tough to get motivated for the Liberty match, Kahl is glad she played it.
“I’m still upset,” she said. “But I’m glad I ended (my career) on a win.”