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Inexperienced Lewis-Palmer suffers two head injuries
L-P goes 0-2, while Cheyenne is 2-0 and Coronado 1-1 in 4A
Denver • A young Lewis-Palmer volleyball team got even younger midway through its second match of pool play at the 4A state volleyball tournament at the Denver Coliseum on Friday.
The No. 7 Rangers lost seniors Tessa Masters and Hannah Pavlik in the second game of their match with No. 3 Longmont when the two collided on the court. Pavlik lay on the ground for more than a minute before walking to the bench. Masters also took her time getting to the bench, but both got there under their own power. Pavlik sat on the bench holding the back of her head.
Masters and Pavlik left before the match ended. Coach Susan Odenbaugh said the two were on their way to meet with doctors, but she didn’t know if they were going to hospitals or emergency rooms.
The Rangers tried to rally, winning the third game before falling 25-23 in the fourth game. The loss dropped the Rangers to 0-2 on the day and makes their chances of a semifinals berth slim. They’ll need to beat No. 6 Roosevelt today and hope for Longmont to defeat No. 2 Windsor.
“They won’t give up,” Odenbaugh said. “They’ll give me everything that they’re capable of giving me. We need to go out and play strong (today), and they know that they can.”
Odenbaugh said the Rangers essentially returned just one player with state experience. Next year, they’ll have plenty of experience. Freshman Alexa Smith got her first taste of the state tournament.
“It was amazing,” Smith said. “I love playing with these girls. Just to get here, it’s just so fun.”
The new experience was a challenge, but Odenbaugh could see how much Smith enjoyed it.
“Here’s a kid that’s played a lot of club ball, played (Junior Olympics), and she’s so excited to be here,” Odenbaugh said. “She’s just like a kid going to Disneyland.”
With players like Smith returning for the next three seasons, the Rangers will be a common opponent at the next several state tournaments.
“At the beginning of the season we thought just getting to regionals would be amazing,” Smith said. “We just got better and better as the season went on.”
No. 1 Cheyenne Mountain made quick work of both its opponents, sweeping Silver Creek and Coronado. The 28-0 Indians, in search of their fourth consecutive title, open play today against No. 4 Durango.
With a win today over No. 8 Silver Creek, No. 5 Coronado will have a great chance of advancing to the semifinals. The Cougars (25-3) split their first-day games by beating Durango and losing to Metro League rival Cheyenne Mountain.
Whether or not the Rangers get eliminated in their first match today, the tournament has left an impression on Smith.
“I want to come to back every year,” she said.