Volleyball: Monarch keeps postseasaon hopes alive with win over Legacy

LOUISVILLE — Most players on a team riding the postseason bubble might feel a ton of pressure in a waning season.

Not Kendall Peterson.

The Monarch hitter was downright fired up for her team’s final Front Range League and home match of the season. And it showed, with the senior providing one half of a powerful attack that downed Legacy 25-20, 25-18, 25-22 in a straight-set victory on Thursday night.

Between Addy Lofstedt and Peterson, the Lightning had nowhere to turn in the pivotal match.

“It felt good to win this one,” Peterson said.

The Coyote hitters dominated the outside with each getting their licks on Legacy (4-15, 4-7). Lofstedt finished with 14 kills and Peterson with 11. And watching the seniors slamming down point after point was a huge relief for MHS coach Thomas Sullivan.

Sullivan’s team sat 30th in the Max Preps-Freeman rankings entering Thursday and needed to remain in the top-36 to earn a district berth. And while his seniors had a huge showing against Legacy, Sullivan pointed to a different group’s role in keeping the Coyotes (9-10, 5-6) in the mix.

The coach gave a core group of younger players due credit for keeping the ship afloat in the face of a difficult run. The coach had to suspend eight players — five of them starters — for five matches due to disciplinary measures.

“They fought hard enough to keep the point differential close to give us this chance,” Sullivan said. “It was good.”

The team regained all of its players a match ago and from that point on the Coyotes proved they were champing at the bit to finish the season strong. Monarch knocked off Horizon Tuesday, taking down the Hawks 3-0, as well.

“We just had the mentality of coming out strong and moving forward,” Peterson said. “We’re just trying to play better than before.”

Legacy sat in a similar boat to Monarch, also riding the state bubble. But as the Lightning’s coach Lora Faust pointed out, her team faces much more dire straits. Legacy is No. 39 in the rankings, meaning it is in a must-win situation coming into its final tournament of the season.

“It’s a completely winnable tournament for us,” Faust said. “It puts us in the position to be that bubble team that goes in.”

Despite showing glimpses of brilliance Thursday, the Lightning were hamstrung by injuries. The team had three players out, two of them — Kelly Scharlau and Caitlyn Smith — among the tallest girls on the roster.

While the injuries did not help Legacy, Faust pointed to other factors costing the team the match.

“We looked flat,” she said. “But we’re going to take a break, hopefully we can regroup.”

Follow Elwood on Twitter @ElwoodKShelton.

Monarch 3, Legacy 0

At Monarch HS

Legacy (4-15, 4-7) 20 18 22

Monarch (9-10, 5-6) 25 25 25

Kills — Legacy: Stevens 12, Rockeman 9; Monarch: Lofstedt 14, Peterson 11.

Blocks — Legacy: Stevesn 12, Rockman 9; Monarch: Peterson 2, Chu 1.

Assists — Legacy: Colwell 13, Gettings 13; Monarch: Harris 11, Kennedy 16.

Aces — Legacy: Rockman 2, Colwell 2, Schlaack 1; Monarch: Harris 4, Grosser 2.

Digs — Legacy: Schlaack 11, Moore 6, stevens 6, Gettings 6, Colwell 5; Monarch: Grosser 9, Krautler-Kemme 7.