DENVER – Despite the program’s relatively short history, the Mead High School volleyball team has experienced unprecedented level of success.
They might not have state titles to brag about but the Mavericks have barely been around long enough to establish themselves among the top programs in Colorado, and they’re catching up quickly. The fact that an alumnus named Mikayla Martinez, a first-year head coach from a school that opened in 2009, just led the Mead volleyball girls on their second straight 22-win season is evidence of that.
As the No. 4 seed in the Class 4A state tournament, the Mavericks’ run in 2019 ended on Friday with a 23-25, 25-22, 25-22, 27-25 loss to Thomas Jefferson at the Denver Coliseum. It was a tough loss for a team that expected to forge a path deeper into the bracket. Disappointing as the loss was, if anyone can speak to how far the volleyball program has advanced since the doors opened at Mead, it’s Martinez.
“Honestly, this group of girls is just a phenomenal group,” Martinez said. “It’s not just that they’re talented, but they know how to be good teammates, they know the game of volleyball and they know how to win. We’ve grown every single game and I’ve seen so much progress from them. It makes me really excited for next season because we keep setting the standard.
“I love this school and I love the people there. That school just raises really good people and I’m truly blessed to have this opportunity. I can feel that these girls aren’t done yet and they’re ready to put in the work for next season.”
The Mavericks will graduate two starters, so Mead expects to continue on the upward trajectory that has defined its program for years.
In Class 5A, the Broomfield Eagles also saw an exceptional season come to a close on Friday with a 25-15, 25-18, 20-25, 26-24 loss to Rampart in the first elimination round of the double-elimination Olympic style tournament. Eagles seniors Vicki Fankell and Hope Hanak-Harper were among the best hitters in the state and senior setter Kristina Consbruck finished the season with over 600 assists.
Fresh off an historic win over Cheyenne Mountain in the first round that marked the program’s first-ever victory at state, the Erie Tigers fell 25-22, 25-17, 25-11 to Discovery Canyon on Friday and were eliminated from the 4A bracket.
The loss, though painful, didn’t damper the Tigers’ spirits too much. They knew they had already done something special.
“It’s still raw and of course we wanted the win,” Erie head coach Molly Creek said. “But we took a moment to reflect on what we accomplished, how much fun we had, and how hard we worked. The first time being there, we handled it amazingly. We walked out of there with our heads held high and we’ll miss our seniors. But looking ahead, it looks really good for Erie.”