Second Place for Miners in Regional Finals
Creede Miners’ girls’ volleyball team, comprised of both Creede and Lake City players, ended a remarkable season on Saturday, finishing in second place among three top-ranked teams in regional finals in LaVeta, Colorado.
The Creede team lost to undefeated rival LaVeta in their first morning round, final score 10-25, 16-25, and 5-25, then roared back in the afternoon to defeat the Debeque girls’ varsity volleyball team, winning three out of four games, scores 25-23, 25-20, 24-26, and 25-23.
Creede Miners’ overall standing for the season was a remarkable 17 wins and 8 losses, finishing the fall season in 19th place in the state.
With their undefeated record and wins over both Creede and Debeque at the regions, the LaVeta Indians girls’ varsity team and their coach, Amber Hess, now advance to volleyball state finals which will be held in Denver starting today, November 10, and extending into the weekend.
The Creede volleyball team was not among four “wildcard” second place teams state-wide which were invited to participate in the state finals.
Asked for descriptions on the local team’s play against both Debeque and LaVeta, Lake City volleyball coach Katie Elkins says that repeated wins against their Debeque counterparts came as the result of a succession of “hard-fought” games characterized by “wild play” as the Lake City and
Creede girls repeatedly dashed onto the sidelines to recover the ball.
Going into the regional finals, Creede Miners knew they were up against a formidable foe with the undefeated LaVeta Indians. Although expressing disappointment with the Miners’ loss to LaVeta, Elkins says she’s ultimately happy with the result. “Our girls played their hardest and you can’t ask for more than that.”
Miners played against LaVeta on three occasions prior to last Saturday’s regionals, according to Elkins, and in advance of each game studied video to learn from their past mistakes. In advance of the regional game against the Indians, Elkins says the Miners concentrated on what to expect from the LaVeta team’s especially strong hitters. “We tried to determine the location where those hitters tended to serve,” she says, “and played strong defense accordingly.”
Reflecting on the past season, Elkins says that this year “was by far my absolute favorite to coach. The dynamics each girl brought to the team was so specific and finely tuned.”
And the results, Coach Elkins adds, “worked perfectly.”
Looking ahead to the 2018-19 Miners’ volleyball season, Elkins says she is optimistic for a “very strong team” based on the individual talents which each girl brings to the team and age diversity which exists among the Miners. One senior, Creede’s Olivia Madrid, graduates this year, leaving six or seven juniors who, as seniors next season, have played together since they were in middle school.
Every member of the team, according to Elkins, both Lake City and Creede, “is a strong and passionate volleyball player. There is so much chemistry among all members of the team and that helps them to play stronger.”
Asked about highly promising younger players on the Miners volleyball team, Elkins specifically mentions two Creede freshmen, Lindsey Gammill and Chloe McComas, who assisted on the varisty team this past season. McComas played outside hitter on the varsity team this fall, while Gammell took an active role on both the junior varsity team, as outside hitter, and “libero,” termed a “defensive specialist,” for the varsity Miners.
Also predicted to excell next volleyball season and beyond are Lake City players Paige Thompson, a junior, who competed on both the junior varsity and varsity teams this past season, and middle hitter Sara Carey, together with Creede junior varsity players Mamie Hess, Reese Wilson, and Kala White.