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Volleyball: Longmont heads to regionals after easy victories

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LONGMONT — The biggest challenge of the state district tournament for the Trojans, a team that has reached at least the regionals each year for more than a decade, is staying focused to the very end of a long weekend of volleyball.

Longmont already had punched its ticket to the regional tournament with a victory over Evergreen earlier in the day on Saturday. All that remained was a final match against Niwot to determine seeding.

The Trojans could have been satisfied before stepping onto the court to face the Cougars, but they certainly were not. They wanted more.

“We have the desire to win, for sure, but we have to find it in our heart to play hard through the last point,” sophomore Dailyn Johnson said. “Knowing that we will be one of the top eight seeds rather than in the bottom eight is such a good feeling and a relief.”

Longmont won all three of its matches on Saturday to clinch the Class 4A District 1 title and a berth to next weekend’s regionals. Niwot held off Frederick in the semifinals before falling to the Trojans 3-1, but not before the Cougars also qualified to move on.

“We played so hard this weekend. If we would have played that hard all season we would have had a much better record,” Niwot senior Julia Teta said. “We’ll take that into regionals and hopefully to state.”

Frederick, which fell to Niwot 25-17, 24-26, 25-15, 25-21, ended its season having qualified for the district tournament for the third-straight year. The Warriors appear to be on the verge of breaking through to regionals for the first time in school history, but this wasn’t the year.

“It’s a stepping-stone,” Frederick coach Jamie Bradt said. “We just keep building and we build and we build, and hopefully we will continue to get stronger and stronger.”

In its semifinal match, Longmont handled Evergreen in four sets, 25-14, 25-23, 20-25, 25-20, before taking on a familiar rival in the finals.

The Trojans cruised to victory in the first two games against Niwot, picking up several points on the soft touch of Kelly Graham’s second hits and big strokes from the outside by Becca Mau.

But the Cougars rallied to take the third game before Longmont finished things off for a 25-17, 25-16, 19-25, 25-19 ending.

“We wanted to win. That was our whole goal coming into districts,” Trojans libero Diana Olson said. “We just knew that we had to win. … We set high goals at the beginning of the season.”

Brady Delander can be reached at bdelander@times-call.com.

CLASS 4A DISTRICT 1

At Longmont H.S.

Round Robin

LONGMONT 3, FREDERICK 1

Frederick (13-8) 21 25 16 23

Longmont (17-4) 25 22 25 25

——

Semifinals

LONGMONT 3, EVERGREEN 1

Evergreen (15-7) 14 23 25 20

Longmont (18-4) 25 25 20 25

——

Semifinals

NIWOT 3, FREDERICK 1

Frederick (13-9) 17 26 15 21

Niwot (12-9) 25 24 25 25

——

Regional Final

LONGMONT 3, NIWOT 1

Niwot (12-10) 17 16 25 19

Longmont (19-4) 25 25 19 25

(Stats are cumulative)

Kills — Frederick (2 games): Phifer 19, LeBon 13, Pepitone 11, Wedel 11, Zimmerman 9, Feauto 8; Longmont (3 games): Mau 52, Graham 27, Johnson 24, Lacy Haddock 28, Lyndie Haddock 21, Precht 11; Niwot (2 games): Buck 29, Teta 24, Vaiser 11, Richard 8.

Blocks — Frederick: Zimmerman 12, Pepitone 11, Phifer 6, Feauto 5, LeBon 2; Longmont: Graham 8, Precht 8, Mau 6, Johnson 5, Lyndie Haddock 5, Lacy Haddock 2; Niwot: Teta 6, Buck 3, Chavez 3, Meek 2, Vaiser 2.

Assists — Frederick: Feauto 57; Longmont: Graham 116; Niwot: Chavez 67.

Aces — Frederick: Phifer 2, DiGesualdo 2, LeBon, Wedel.; Longmont: Lacie Haddock 11, Graham 10, Lyndie Haddock 6, Precht 6, Johnson 5, Mau 3; Niwot: Buck 4, Meek 4, Chavez 3, Sigg 2.

Digs — Frederick: Casados 24, LeBon 19, Wedel 19, Zimmerman 18, Phifer 17, Feauto 13, Pepitone 5, Whitmer 4; Longmont: Olson 63, Mau 47, Graham 39 Cox 22, Lyndie Haddock 18, Lacy Haddock 15, Wright 12; Niwot: Sigg 14, Buck 10, Chavez 8, Teta 6, Meek 4.