Valor Christian Eagles have bumped, set, and are looking to spike as they made their way past winning the Region 1 regionals and head to the state tournament after a matchup against Regis Jesuit Raiders on Saturday, Nov. 4. Valor won 3-0.
The Raiders stepped on the court as the 24th seed with a 12-12 record to face the undefeated Eagles in their second matchup of the day for this season’s regional playoffs after a “really hard” season last year (3-15). Coach Kait Kozak said, “It feels really good—huge progress for us.”
The Eagles find themselves as the No. 1 seed in this season’s playoffs.
“Every year you get to keep playing, it’s a gift. It’s really special, whether it’s one game, two games or 12 games,” said Valor coach Jayne McHugh before the match. “It’s just a privilege to be in the postseason. Being one of the 36 teams left playing in 5A is truly a gift.”
The first set was the closest in score, ending at 25-15. The Raiders showed the most progress towards the end of the set when they closed the lead slightly and carried that momentum into the second set.
In the second set, the Raiders did find themselves with a point advantage early on, scoring seven points to the Eagles’ six. However, the Eagles ran away with the set that eventually ended 25-12.
The third set saw the introduction of two players for the Eagles varsity team, freshman Piper McFadden and junior Soia Leimback. McFadden had one block and two assists during her playing time. The final score of this set was 25-11.
Notable players to watch for on Valor’s team as they continue on into the state tournament are Delaney Russell, Kenzey McGatlin and Grace Langer, as they consistently top their team in kills for each match.
“It feels really good to take that next step into regionals and hopefully, in the future, make it to state,” said Raider’s captain Peyton Kreutzer, remarking on the change from last year’s season.
As a regional champion, Eagles Ava Eto was excited.
“Honestly, it’s really fun. I love the team. I love the community,” she said. “The girls make it so much fun “We fought really hard. Regis is obviously a hard team, but we just played together really well.”
The state championship games will be played at the Denver Coliseum on Nov. 9 through Nov. 11.
Valor’s matchup for round two on Nov. 10 is still to be determined, but it will either be Grandview or Pueblo West, who face off on Nov. 9.