DENVER - Colorado Springs Christian School’s Cinderella story ended one win short in the 3A state volleyball championships.

The No. 6 Lions continued to surprise teams throughout the tournament, upsetting the sixth, fourth and second seeds on the way to an appearance in the state final Saturday. But it was there that CSCS found its match, falling to No. 1 Lutheran 3-1 to place second.

Just two weeks ago, however, CSCS coach Lori Currier said her team was in a slump that she wasn’t sure they could pull themselves out of.

“We had a roller-coaster season,” Currier said. “We had a great first half of the season then hit some snags, and we had some injuries and things went downhill a little bit. But we regrouped coming into regionals and that was a bit of a turning point for us.

“Once we were here, just getting here wasn’t enough,” Currier said. “We wanted to keep going so they just played determined and played one step at a time getting to that next phase.”

And they did. Again, and again, and again.

It started with a 3-1 win over No. 11 Sterling in the first round. Then No. 3 University in a five-set thriller. Then on to No. 2 Alamosa in a 3-1 win, and finally to No. 4 Platte Valley in another four-set match before facing Lutheran.

The Lions started slowly against the No. 1-ranked team, falling in the first set 25-16. Then they found a bit of a spark in the second, keeping it much closer but ultimately losing the set 25-20.

That’s when Currier said her team began playing do-or-die volleyball.

“I feel like we played out of fear in those first two sets and then it became like, we just need to have fun, this could be our last one so let’s just play,” Currier said. “I don’t know why that turned back around in the fourth set. But it was nice to see them go out and have fun in that third set and play our game again.”

The Lions won the third set 25-14 and fell in the fourth set 25-11.

CSCS senior Megan Engesser has been in this position three times, losing in the girls’ basketball state championship the past two years.

“I would say I had a different feel out there because it is volleyball,” said Engesser, who will be playing Division I basketball next year at Portland. “I know in basketball people depend on me, and with volleyball I feel like I’m just a role player in that way, but losing is losing no matter what sport you’re playing.”

Engesser was passed the second-place trophy Saturday, and immediately passed it off to another player.

“I didn’t even want to look at that silver trophy, I’m so sick of seeing that,” Engesser joked. “But we surprised so many people and we surprised ourselves. I think it’s really great where we ended up.”

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