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The Colorado Springs Christian girls’ volleyball team was pegged as "underdogs" from the very beginning of the season.

After placing third in the state in 2016, the Lions missed last year’s state tournament and entered the 2018 season unranked, feeling like they had something to prove.

But with a week left in the regular season CSCS hit a low point.

“We were not performing our best, and we realized that if we don’t make changes, this was how the season was going to end,” CSCS coach Lori Currier said. “We had an up-and-down season and I could really see it going one way or another. But they decided to play as a team and they wanted to come into the (state championship) weekend wanting to focus on that and rise to the occasion.”

Currier coached the Lions through an impressive state tournament run in which they pulled off three upsets as a No. 6 seed on the way to a state title-game appearance — earning her the title of Gazette Preps Volleyball Coach of the Year.

Currier said her team faced a number of position changes throughout the year, a challenge that could derail a team’s chemistry — but CSCS was no ordinary team this year.

“The girls really overcame that and decided to play for each other rather than the ‘me’ attitude and they really overachieved,” Currier said. “The girls could have been upset by some of those changes, but they just came into it playing together.”

After a 3-1 loss to Erie a week before regionals the Lions used their chemistry to storm through the final portion of the season, winning seven straight matches leading up to the title game. One match included a five-set upset over No. 3 University, which swept CSCS in the second match of the season.

The Lions finished the season 22-5, dropping just 25 sets along the way. The team will lose four seniors to graduation, two of whom were in major starting roles — middles Christa Vogt and Megan Engesser. Currier said, however, the other two seniors, Kacy Tyson and Cassie Nielson will also be missed due to their positive attitude.

“Although we have to figure out how to fill the holes in the middle, we have a pretty strong core coming back,” Currier said.

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