This wouldn’t have been Bev Sanders’ first choice, but the glory days of the Centaurus volleyball program were too far in the rearview mirror.

After a few seasons of struggling mightily in the wins department, the Warriors and their successful, longtime coach needed a revival. They are hoping to find it in the form of a classification change, as the Warriors have bolted 4A for the greener pastures of 3A this season.

“I think one of the big things is confidence, and I think these girls have watched Centaurus struggle for the last few years in the Northern League,” Sanders said. “I like to talk the talk about how Centaurus used to be winners, used to be league champs and we had an all-state player. We want them to get back to that.”

The Warriors initially petitioned to move to a less-potent 4A league, but the way the two-year cycle already had been designed, moving to the 3A Metro League was the best option.

“Moving to 3A is just a mental change for them,” Sanders said. “I still think that league is going to be challenging. There are some very good teams in that league. But I just think they’ll mentally think different about the teams they’re playing.”

The Warriors return standout Allison Ebersole, a senior outside hitter who led the squad in kills last season. She’ll be a co-captain along with junior setter MaKenna Morgan.

“I’m ready for a fresh start, because it was definitely tough to lose all those games,” Ebersole said.

Also back in the fold is senior middle hitter Monica Medrano, whose overwhelming positivity keeps the team’s spirits up. That was especially necessary last season in the midst of a 4-19 record that included an 0-14 mark in league play.

The Warriors, who open the season Thursday against Englewood, also are ecstatic about the prospects of sophomores Emilee Scates and Haley Kilday. Each played club volleyball over the summer and the tandem returns to Warriors vastly improved.

“I think our team is looking pretty good right now,” Ebersole said. “Hopefully we’ll be a lot better, and I like the group of girls. We definitely feel like we’re becoming a team.”

Two of the most notable players to come from the Centaurus program are Sanders’ daughter, Evan, who played at Colorado State and Washington, and Nikki Lindow, a recent standout at the University of Colorado.

While the glory days might not return instantaneously, the wins might soon start to resurface.

Sanders is not ruling out a return to 4A after the two-year cycle has expired, hoping the Warriors will have resurrected itself by that point. For now, they’re just delighted in the change of scenery.

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