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Doherty wins 5A Metro title by downing Pine Creek
Spartans move to 19-0
Before Doherty could officially lay claim to being the best volleyball team in Colorado Springs, there was one challenge left. The host Spartans passed that test with flying colors Wednesday in a 25-18, 29-27, 25-21 win over Pine Creek.
Not only did Doherty move to 19-0, it won the 5A Metro championship over tough Pine Creek.
The victory didn’t come without a few anxious moments, however. After taking the first game with relative ease, Doherty found itself in a dogfight in the second. Pine Creek had game point at 24-23.
“There’s always that nervous moment when they get game point; every athlete gets it for a second,” said Doherty junior Haleigh Washington, who had 12 kills. “But the great athletes are the ones that think ‘no, they aren’t going to get this game,’ and that’s what we do.”
Once the match was tied at 24, Washington took over. She had three gigantic kills when the score was tied at 25, 26 and 27.
Gabby Simpson, who fed Washington and sister Cierra all night, ended up with 26 assists, eight digs and five kills.
“I know this team is naturally gifted and we have great players, but nothing is ever easy and these girls have worked so hard,” Doherty coach Tara Hittle said. “It’s not just luck and it’s not just having the talent — it really is about putting in the work.”
After taking the second game and seizing all the momentum, the Spartans went to work in the third game. They controlled throughout and there was never really any doubt 19-0 was going to happen on senior night.
“We have lost league the past three years and we are out to prove something this year and if we continue to improve we will get done what we want to get done,” said Cierra Simpson, who had 13 kills and four digs.
For Pine Creek (14-5, 4-1) it was a frustrating evening. The Eagles led the second game 20-14 and looked to be cruising to a win that would tie the match.
But Doherty would rattle off six straight points to tie and set the stage for Washington’s spiking display.
“I think it was really disappointing to watch us give away that big lead in the second game,” said Pine Creek’s Tiegen Skains, who had 10 kills and a .400 hitting percentage. “But I still think this was some of the best volleyball we’ve played all season. Doherty is just a great team.”
Skains’ coach, Rick Mischka, agreed with his senior’s assessment that the Eagles played some of their best ball and the key game.
“It’s very hard to come back after losing the second game like that,” he said.
“We hope to see Doherty again.”