Losses end season for Coal Ridge
DENVER — Coal Ridge High School volleyball coach Scott Black high-fived each of his players individually Friday afternoon.
The Titans may not have played the way they wanted to, but Black was still proud of their performance.
No. 9 seed Coal Ridge fell in both of its pool play matches at the Class 3A State Championships at the Denver Coliseum, ending its state trip and its season.
The Titans (21-6) were swept in their first match by fifth-seeded Holy Family, 25-13, 25-22, 25-11, and lost in three again against fourth-seeded Platte Valley, 25-21, 25-15, 25-13, in Pool IV.
“That’s the pool we wanna be in, with seed 4 and seed 5,” Black said. “We don’t wanna play 1, 2 or 3 in the first [match] and really be out. I thought we had a decent chance against the lower two teams.
“Holy Family’s got a lot better, and we just didn’t play very good against Platte [Valley] and hats off to ‘em, they played well and stuck it out,” he added.
The Broncos (19-7) struggled early on, giving Coal Ridge a decent lead in the first and second sets. But the Titans made some mistakes and let Platte Valley take over those sets.
“I feel like our defense was a little iffy and then we kept hitting it out a lot,” senior Jacklyn Collins said. “I think we could’ve played better. I think we were a little off today. I don’t know if it was because we were nervous or ‘cause this is new territory. I don’t know. It was tough.”
In the third set, the Broncos powered up their offense and Coal Ridge couldn’t recover after falling behind 17-6. Black said despite the losses, he’s absolutely proud of how the Titans played.
“They played great in the first match,” he said. “Second match, I think they started to feel like ‘Gosh, this could be it’ and they really knew it. But I’m very proud of how they played all year.”
Sophomore middle hitter Britni Allen, wearing No. 14, led the Titans with eight kills against Platte Valley and added four blocks. Collins, No. 13, finished with seven kills.
Also contributing were Maggie Bell with 25 assists, Paige Ryan and six blocks and three kills, and Leah Kanakaraj with 12 digs.
“[No.] 14’s been big all year, she’s been great,” Black said. “She listens to what I ask and she does it … then it usually turns into something good. And (No.) 13 came on really good halfway through the season, really started hitting the ball well.”
Collins said she’s feeling pretty good after Coal Ridge’s outing.
“State was our initial goal and it’s our first time making it to state,” she said. “And, even though we didn’t win, it’s a pretty big deal for us to make it to state.”
Black said the Titans are a little disappointed they didn’t make it past pool play, but they’re proud they made it this far.
“It’s the next step and now we gotta take another next step,” he said. “We set about … five goals and we achieved three out of five. So we’ve gotta say that’s a successful season. There’s no way I’m disappointed at all.”
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Maya Lindgren had always considered herself “more of a softball girl,” until she started getting some serious looks on the basketball court during her junior season at Roaring Fork High School last year.