BOULDER — Audrey Cheng has so many responsibilities for the Fairview volleyball team it sometimes can be difficult to figure out what she doesn't do.

As the team's setter, Cheng distributed the ball to the Knights' many talented hitters throughout the season. As a captain and a leader, she motivated her team through her effort and versatility, doing whatever it took to win and guiding the Knights to the Class 5A state finals.

Cheng is the 2015 Volleyball Player of the Year.

"Throughout my years of playing volleyball, I've found that teamwork is a very big part of winning. It may be everything," Cheng said. "What motivates me to do everything I can is that I've seen in the past how when one person steps up, others step up. I've tried to do that as a leader and on a team like ours this year, we had the kind of trust in one another that those kinds of things made a big difference."

As a junior, Cheng totaled 891 assists. Also while playing setter, she racked up 79 kills (49.2 kill percentage), 243 digs, 57 blocks and 46 aces.

Her sophomore year, Cheng played a major role in a season that ended in the Knights making their first appearance at the state tournament since 1998. The only thing the Knights were sure of entering the 2015 season was that they graduated a ton of solid players from the 2014 squad and this season would be harder.


Despite a 1-3 start to the season, Cheng and the Knights made it through regionals to the state tournament, where they entered as the eighth seed and upset top-seeded Chatfield on the first day. They went on to win a pool play tiebreaker and defeat No. 4 Rock Canyon in the semifinals before falling to Cherokee Trail in the championship match.

"I think we just all came into the season not knowing what to expect," Cheng said. "We lost seven seniors and we were coming in with a whole new coaching staff. But it was kind of a clean slate and it helped that we've all known Kelsey Spencer for all of our high school careers. We had a rough start but we had that chemistry from day one. We really had no doubt that if we played our hearts out every match, we would have a chance to win."

Committed to continue her volleyball career at Virginia Tech, Cheng was also a godsend for first-year head coach Kelsey Spencer as she took the reins for the first time this season.

"Audrey is one of the toughest competitors I have ever met," Spencer said. "She really performs so well in clutch situations and she can make big plays when we need them. That fires up the rest of the players. She just has this contagious intensity. As a leader, that is her biggest strength.

"As a player, her passing decisions are so great that we get a lot of one-on-ones, which is really hard to do. She is also one of our best blockers and an incredible server. Her defense was even better this year than last year and when we do use her to attack, she can kill at will."

With Cheng doing all she could, Fairview nearly won it all in 2015.

Brad Cochi: or