CARBONDALE, Colorado - Roaring Fork's lucky number in Saturday's 3A Region 11 volleyball tournament against Frontier Academy: 11.
Why? Well, the Rams steamrolled the Wolverines in the opener, 25-11, 25-11, 25-11. Further, it was the Region 11 tournament that the Carbondale school was hosting and Roaring Fork was the 11th seed among Class 3A's 36 regional qualifiers.
"I like it," Rams coach Carrie Shultz said with a smile. "It sounds like good luck."
It certainly seemed to be, as the hosts had a day to remember. After its quick win over the Wolverines, Roaring Fork went on to take down Lamar later in the day, 25-17, 25-21, 25-13.
The victories delivered the Rams a regional title. As a result, they'll be making their second trip to the state tournament in three seasons.
"We're excited to have a regional championship," Shultz said. "It's the first once since I've been coaching, so it's good to have that gold plaque."
It all started with that morning's win over Frontier Academy, in which Shultz's squad came out energized and focused.
"We did a couple things this week and they responded really well to some adjustments," said Shultz, who is nearing the end of her fifth full season as head coach.
Among those adjustments: a tweak in junior Josie Horn's serve approach.
That paid off in a big way, as Horn crafted a dominant run at the service line in the third set against Frontier, serving the Rams to 17 straight points as part of an 18-0 run to start the game.
"I think my top before had been like eight [points in a row]," joked Horn, who went on to explain the adjustments to her serve. "I normally stand at the line to serve and, actually, our coach's husband told me to move back a couple feet, so that it's harder to track when it's floating."
With Roaring Fork mixing up its lineup toward the end of the match, No. 26 Frontier made a late surge to tighten the final count.
But the morning match belonged to the Rams, who wrapped things up in roughly one hour.
Horn finished with eight aces for the match, with five of those coming in the third game. She also had seven digs.
Hattie Gianinetti bashed nine kills for Roaring Fork and Madison Handy swatted seven kills. Hattie's twin sister, Megan Gianinetti, finished with six kills.
Hattie Gianinetti also tallied two solo blocks and six digs. Caitlin Kinney had six digs and Taylor Adams racked up 22 assists.
Against No. 14 Lamar, the Rams rallied behind an aggressive net attack and a defense that didn't give to anything.
The Gianinetti twins, who each stand right around 6 feet tall, were the kill leaders. Hattie belted 12 and Megan eight. Rosa Maun was right behind them with six kills. Adams finished with 31 assists.
On defense, Megan Gianinetti had 12 digs and was followed by Handy and Kinney with 11 each and Horn with eight. Handy also had five service aces.
Lamar finished up its season at 17-6. Also on Saturday, the Savages defeated Frontier Academy (8-17) in three games (25-21, 25-19, 25-17).
Roaring Fork will take a 22-3 overall record into the 12-team state tournament, which will take place Friday and Saturday at the Denver Coliseum.
Adams is looking forward to another state showing.
"A lot of these players were with me when we got there the first time," she said. "I think it'll be good this time because we do have the experience of being there. We'll be ready, I think."