MEAD — In a season that has been anything but easy for the Mead volleyball team, the Mavericks made Saturday’s Class 4A Region 6 championship match look simple.
In dominating fashion, the No. 6 seeded Mavericks (11-3) defeated previously unbeaten and No. 11 seed Skyview, 25-10, 25-13, 25-10 to advance to the state tournament.
“We are so excited,” Mead junior Quincey Coyle said. “We had some struggles at the beginning of the season, which really meant a lot to us, especially from our last season. We didn’t lose a lot so we came back from a really tough spot. We really pushed through and grinded and worked really hard in practice this week. We just really all came together during this game.”
Despite winning their first seven games of the season, the Mavericks dealt with quarantines that forced them into playing consecutive games, including multiple contests on some days, just to get their regular season completed.
And even though Mead lost three of its last five contests going into the postseason, the Mavericks put on a clinic with a state tournament berth on the line.
After sweeping No. 19 Steamboat Springs earlier in the day, the Mavericks set the tone for Saturday’s nightcap in the opening minutes. They scored the first seven points of the first set and jumped out to a 12-1 lead and never looked back.
“I honestly think that starting out, even in our first game, we knew exactly what our goal was and what was standing between us and our goal,” Mead head coach Mikayla Martinez said. “I think everyone woke up today, they came in and they were focused from the second they stepped in the gym. I am super proud of them for that because it takes a lot of mental toughness.”
Throughout the match, Coyle and her teammates never let the Wolverines gain any momentum as Skyview struggled to get its offense going in all three sets.
Mead junior Morgan Munro closed out the first set with back-to-back aces and her serving was a big part of the Mavericks’ success in the second set as well.
Not only did she serve 10 straight Mead points, but she had six aces during that run that turned a 13-11 Mead lead into a 23-11 advantage.
“I just wanted to go after it and keep going,” Munro said. “We didn’t want to be overconfident. We knew that anyone could beat us in regionals. It is a whole new game. We just wanted to come out and play our best.”
The third set was more of the same for the Mavericks as they jumped out to a 17-3 lead. In addition to a dozen big kills in the match, Coyle had a string of four aces herself during a run that turned a 12-3 lead into a 17-3 advantage.
At 23-10, Mead forced Skyview into a pair of hitting errors to close out the match and start the celebration.
“This means the world to them because they have realized that this isn’t the season that we wanted,” Martinez said. “The six seniors on the team, they didn’t get a senior year like they wanted, but thankfully they figured out a way to play volleyball and even though it was a two-month-long season, they are thankful for it and it takes a lot of mental toughness to go game after game after game.”
The state tournament is scheduled for May 12-13 at Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs.