Highlands Ranch had a shift in its dynamic from the kind of volleyball team it put on the state courts the last two years. However, this year’s …
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Highlands Ranch had a shift in its dynamic from the kind of
volleyball team it put on the state courts the last two years.
However, this year’s volleyball team from Highlands Ranch High
School did return to the Class 5A state tournament but did not make
it out of pool play after two years finishing in the top four, and
the state’s runner up trophy last year.
Falcons coach Lou Krauss said part of what remains the same is a
certain level of experience but other aspects changed among Ranch’s
“What was in tact was we had people who have been a part it for
the past four years,” he said. “What was different was we just
didn’t have the size or the power, and when you get to the last
eight [at state], they can really take advantage of that. You make
adjustments, but you have to work extra hard.”
The Falcons, which finished as the 5A runner up last season,
entered this year’s state show Nov. 12-13 at the Denver Coliseum in
Denver with an overall record of 18-5 and the tournament’s No. 7
Ranch started pool play against No. 2 seed and Continental
League champion Chaparral and handed the Wolverines a 25-18 loss in
the first game. Chaparral came back, however, to win the next
Next up was No. 3 seed Pine Creek which Ranch was able to tie up
the series twice before the Eagles won Game 5.
The Falcons were swept the next morning in three games against
No. 6 seed Grandview. Krauss has stated before that he isn’t a fan
of the high school volleyball post-season format.
“This [tournament] format, doesn’t favor smaller teams. It
favors bigger teams,” Krauss said. “I’ve never been a big fan of
this format. It doesn’t make any logical sense, based on how the
season is head-to-head, and then all of a sudden, you play four
matches one weekend, three matches the next. It’s not good for
health or for good competition. When you’re small it’s pretty
Next year, with more state experience for their younger players,
the Falcons should be returning with a solid sophomore setter in
Kristen Conor, a junior next year, and outside hitter Breanna Wong
should be back for her senior outing.
“So, we do have one big kid, [Wong],” Krauss said. “Next year,
instead of having two, we’ll have one tall kid, so we’re going to
have to become very good at ball control and that will have to
happen through this group and some of the junior varsity people
In the meantime, consistency will also be on the menu to develop
before and through next season, something Highlands Ranch saw
playing Chaparral during pool play.
“You have to maintain your level,” the coach said. “It’s easy to
play one good set, but then you have to play the next one, and then
the next one, and than the next one.
“Against Chaparral, we played two good sets back-to-back, but
then we lost the focus, and they just kept coming. That’s something
you have to learn by experience by seeing teams coming at you and
keep coming at you.”
Highlands Ranch finished the season with an 18-8 overall record
and graduate seven seniors from its state roster including Kayla
McFadden, Amber Giali, Georgia Beck, Paige Cooper, Sydney Nash,
Brogan Prior-Newburn and Maggie Siple.
Highlands Ranch state pool play results
Chaparral 19 25 25 25 – 3
Highlands Ranch 25 18 9 14 – 1
Pine Creek 25 14 25 24 15 – 3
Highlands Ranch 19 25 21 26 8 – 2
Grandview 25 25 25 – 3
Highlands Ranch 18 10 17 – 0
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