BROOMFIELD — A rebuilding Cheyenne Mountain volleyball team is still better than most squads Holy Family could expect to face during the regular season.
On Saturday in a home match, however, the Indians were no match for the Tigers — a program that is vying to build a tradition much like that of their Colorado Springs-based counterparts.
With the help of a dutiful back row, the Tigers won their ninth match in a row in sweeping fashion, dispatching of the six-time state champions 25-16, 25-21, 25-21.
"Just playing them the past couple of years is such a great opportunity for us, and yeah, we want to make sure that when people are talking about great teams we want to be in the mix," Holy Family head coach Krista Solomon said after watching her team improve to 13-2 ahead of Tri-Valley League matches against Berthoud and Roosevelt this week. "We are striving to build a program that is always towards the top, very much like (Cheyenne Mountain)."
Saturday's loss dropped Cheyenne Mountain to 3-8, but the record certainly doesn't indicate how tough the Indians can play or have played. A majority of their schedule has been filled with top-ranked 5A and 4A teams, including the No. 5 Tigers. Outside hitters Jane Sparks, Jackie Martensen and Kinley Coe gave the HFHS front fits, but Solomon was pleased with how the defense picked things up behind a struggling block this time around.
Sophomore libero Peyton Frank led that charge finishing with 23 digs against a team that had some big swings. Her presence allowed the Tigers to swing back, and Rachel Siurek's 11 kills and the overall across-the-entire-net mode of attack helped Holy Family to be the more consistent team.
"The better the attack, the more fun the game is for our blockers and our defense," Frank said after the match. "It just makes us want to buckle down and dig everything. We've really worked hard the past few weeks to step our game up defensively."
"Peyton doesn't get rattled, that's for sure. She likes those big hits from the other side and she brings a lot of energy," Solomon said. "Our block did struggle for us, which is abnormal and that made our defensive back row have to play well. Our attack was smart and that was our goal. Just moving it around and try to hit every part of the court that we possibly could and the girls did great."
The Tigers hit cleanly early on, securing 12 kills before committing their first attack error. That really continued through the match as Holy Family had just seven hitting errors in total.
Julia Giltner keyed a stretch of seven straight points in set one to help her team pull away, and Siurek closed each of the first two sets with a string of successful swings. Set three was 12-11 for Cheyenne Mountain before another six-point run helped turn the tides for the home team, and Frank had two aces in that stretch of play.
The Indians had just one run of more than three points the whole afternoon — that coming at the tail end of the final set.
Holy Family 3, Cheyenne Mountain 0
At Holy Family HSCheyenne Mountain (3-8)162121
Holy Family (13-2)252525
Kills — Holy Family: Rachel Siurek 11, Ali Travis 9.
Blocks — Holy Family: Julia Giltner 1, Jody Gallagher 1.
Assists — Holy Family: Sara Berghoff 24.
Aces — Holy Family: Peyton Frank 3.
Digs — Holy Family: Frank 23.