Creek girls to defend state volleyball title

Bruins qualify for 5A tournament


Defending 5A state champion Cherry Creek is one of six south metro girls volleyball teams to qualify for the 5A state tournament.

The Bruins defeated Erie 3-1 and blanked Castle View 3-0 on Nov. 5 to win the Region 8 state qualifying tournament and earn a repeat ticket into the state tournament.

Cherry Creek will take an 18-7 record into the Denver Coliseum for the 5A state meet, which is scheduled for Nov. 10-12.

“It’s always a good feeling to win but it’s more exciting this season because we didn’t know how we were going to be, since we lost a lot of our seniors,” said Creek senior Anna Van Wyk. “So I would say it’s more exciting this season because we didn’t know if we were going to get this far.”

The other south metro teams that won regional tournaments and advanced into the 12-team state bracket were Valor Christian (25-0), Mountain Vista (21-4), Rock Canyon (21-4), Chaparral (19-6) and Heritage (17-6).

“I’m excited,” said Creek coach Steve Huntingdale. “We are playing our best ball of the season, the last two weekends. Valor is definitely the top seed but after that it is kind of anybody’s game.”

Unbeaten Valor Christian was awarded the top 5A seed for the state tourney and drew a first-round bye. Mountain Vista was the second seed, Rock Canyon third and Rampart fourth and all three teams got first-round byes.

Cherry Creek will play Cherokee Trail at 12:30 p.m. on Nov. 10 in a first-round match while Chaparral will face Heritage at 11 a.m.

Lutheran (20-5) won the 4A Region 4 championship and will also be playing at the state tourney. The Lions were seeded fourth and have a first-round bye.

Van Wyk was one of the leaders for Creek in the regional tourney.

In the combined seven sets in the regionals, the 5-foot-8 setter had 11 kills, 18 digs and 32 assists in unofficial statistics.

“Obvously, the first match, we weren’t expecting Erie to come out as strong as they did,” admitted Van Wyk. “That was a tougher match than we were expecting but it prepared us for Castle View and we really came together and played well.

“At state it’s anybody’s game at this point. You’ve seen a lot of upsets this season so far, so if we go in and take care of all of our preparations, work really hard in practice, we can do really well.”

Other Creek players who did well in the regional included London Muhle, Gracie Fleming, Mae Manthe and Jaida Johnson.

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