Cherry Creek boys volleyball coach Cara Quayle completed her first season on May 7.
It might have been a somewhat disappointing finish but Quayle was satisfied and thankful.
Unbeaten Discovery Canyon defeated the Cherry Creek Bruins, 3-0, to win Colorado’s second sanctioned boys volleyball state championship, which was held at Overland High School.
Discovery Canyon finished the season with a 27-0 record and the did not lose a set all season.
Cherry Creek, the top seeded team in the state meet, finished Quayle’s initial season as head coach with a 26-4 record.
“It was my first season as a head coach and I told the boys that I couldn’t have asked for a better group of boys,” said Quayle. “They fought all season long, all weekend long, and fought hard in all three match today (Saturday), battled it out and played with played their hearts out. It’s been a great year.
“We’re looking forward to next year already. I can’t say enough about how hard they worked, the effort they put in and you could see it. That second match against Discovery Canyon, it was a battle.
“It was a great way to end the season. They fought hard.”
Cherry Creek was sent into the consolation bracket of the double elimination tourney after a 3-0 loss to Discovery Canyon in the second round on May 5. The Bruins came back with consolation wins over Eaglecrest, Bear Creek and Legend to make it into the finals.
The Bruins had to play two matches on May 7 before the championship final against the Thunder. Cherry Creek downed second seeded Bear Creek, 3-0, with 26-24, 25-16 and 25-18 wins and then eliminated No. 6 Legend, 3-1, in the consolation semifinals with 25-24, 26-24, 15-25 and 27-25 scores in the sets.
“We had to play extra matches and we were more tired physically than the other team,” added Quayle. “We had to deal with that but they still fought so hard, You couldn’t tell that they were tired. I’m proud of the way they played. They left it all on the court.”
The Bruins had leads in each set of the title match against the Thunder and there were 21 ties in the three sets.
Kevin Bray and Miles Manthe led the Bruins with nine and eight kills in the finale against the Thunder. Jordan Cardenas had 12 digs and 24 assists.
Creek junior Lukas Rhoades, who had four blocks in the title match, was also proud despite the loss to the Thunder.
“It sure was a good season,” he said. “Discovery Canyon got the best of us but I’m proud of the boys and for the future will be sharp.
“Discovery Canyon is strong. They do a lot of fundamentals well. We tried to take away some of their big hitters (Josh Livergood and Caden Zippwald) and let them know we were up their to challenge them but overall they were a good team.”
It appeared for a while that Cherry Creek and Legend might go five sets, but the Bruins finished strong to pull out a 27-25 win in the fourth set.
“We felt like we should have beat that team,” said Legend coach Ryan Lindstrom, whose team was 22-6 this season. “Our kids played hard all week. Absolutely, I am happy with the season. It’s hard right now, but if you would have told us at the beginning of the season where we would be right now, I’d be pretty happy with it.”
Defending state champion Douglas County lost to Bear Creek and Eaglecrest and ended the season with a 17-8 record. Regis Jesuit (16-10) lost 3-2 to Cherry Creek in its first round match but downed Cherokee Trail before being eliminated by Bear Creek.