DENVER -- The Silver Creek volleyball squad entered the Class 4A state tournament as the field's surprise team, marking the program's first consecutive state appearances.
On Friday, the Raptors lost 25-17, 26-24, 25-22 to No.8-seeded Durango and 25-13, 25-23, 25-16 to top-seeded Cheyenne Mountain to be eliminated from pool play. They left the Denver Coliseum still in search of the program's first state tournament win.
Although they weren't expected to make it past the four-time defending champion Indians into the semifinals, the Raptors still expected to put forth a stronger performance than they did Friday.
"It was just mistakes on our side," junior libero and captain Margaret Davis said. "We should have all-around played better."
The only team in the bracket with a sub-.500 record, the Raptors (11-15) looked like the better team for stretches against the Durango Demons (18-8).
Against the Demons, the Raptors missed a promising chance to close out game two. They also had a 21-19 lead in game three before the Devils passed them with a 6-1 run to win the match.
"When we played Durango, we were so close to beating them," said junior setter Julie Dauer, who finished the season with 439 assists. "Whenever we'd go up by a couple, we just couldn't close out. That's part of us being a young team but I think that'll come next year because we're getting a lot of people back. "
The Raptors were the biggest surprise entry at the 4A state tournament after qualifying as the No. 26 seed overall in regional play.
Against the Indians (22-4) on Friday, Davis said they had a more confident approach than they did during a 2-0 tournament loss to CMHS on Sept. 8. However, they had a hard time blocking the Indians' varied attack led by senior setter Monique Domme.
"You know it's going to be great volleyball once you're here," Silver Creek coach Nicholle Chambers said. "We made too many errors and you just can't do that at state tournament."
The Raptors will graduate Kyra Czerwinski, the team's only senior starter. They will return all other players that played 80 or more sets in 2012, including sophomore outside hitter Elizabeth Potter, who led the Raptors with nine kills against Durango and five against Cheyenne Mountain.
Silver Creek went to state for the first time in 2011. Friday was the team's second tournament appearance in Chambers' third year as head coach.
After finishing up on Friday, Davis said the Raptors are confident they'll return to the state tournament for a third straight time in 2013.
"It just fuels us," Davis said. "Me and the other juniors and sophomores, we really have a lot of fire under us and we really want to work hard this summer and this offseason."
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DURANGO 3, SILVER CREEK 0
At Denver Coliseum
Silver Creek (11-15) 17 24 22
Durango (18-8) 25 26 25
Kills -- Silver Creek: Potter 9, Sulek 4, Czerwinski 2, Hubert 2, Knechtel 2.
Blocks -- Silver Creek: Dauer, Sulek, Czerwinski, Hubert.
Assists -- Silver Creek: Dauer 13, Davis.
Aces -- Silver Creek: Potter 2, Sulek 2, Davis, Hubert.
Digs -- Silver Creek: Davis 4, Potter 3, Hubert 3, Dauer 2, Walker 0, Sulek.
CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN 3, SILVER CREEK 0
At Denver Coliseum
Silver Creek (11-15) 13 23 16
Cheyenne Mountain (22-4) 25 25 25
Kills -- Silver Creek: Potter 5, Sulek 4, Dauer, Davis.
Blocks -- Silver Creek: Sulek 3, Dauer, Knechtel.
Assists -- Silver Creek: Dauer 8.
Aces -- Silver Creek: Davis, Hubert.
Digs -- Silver Creek: Potter 6, Dauer 4, Davis 4, Walter 2, Hubert, Czerwinski.