Girls claim 3-A State Championship


By: Carter Williams

Eleven, Eleven, Eleven marked the beginning of the end of an 11-year drought for the Eaton Reds Volleyball team which came home on 11.12.11 as Colorado 3-A State Champions. The victory marks the first time since 2000 that the girls have laid claim to a state volleyball title. After some close contests and a grueling two days of competition, Eaton swept Colorado Academy in three straight games to claim the final state match.

The team traveled to the Denver Coliseum Friday, Nov. 11, with hopes of advancing to the state championship semi-final round on Saturday, and their expectations were surpassed. Their first face-offs came against Holy Family and University Friday.

The Reds breezed by Holy Family with a 3-0 win, with scores of 25-21, 25-19, and 25-15. Then University stepped up to face Eaton, who seemed to give the Reds some trouble. Eaton came out on top in games one and two, with scores of 25-21, 25-17. University, however, gained some momentum in the third game, winning 22-25. Eaton did not let up in the fourth and final game of the match, with a 25-18 win which clinched the match.

The Reds went into Saturday with an initial match against Colorado Academy, sweeping the Mustangs in three games with scores of 25-21, 25-19, and 25-22. With the win, Eaton advanced to the final four, facing off against Bayfield, with the winner advancing to the State Championship match against either Colorado Academy, or defending state Champions Valley Vikings, to whom the Reds lost the finale of their regular season.

The Reds again came away with a three game sweep, crushing the Bayfield Wolverines with scores of 25-14, 25-21, and 25-22. On the other side of the bracket, Colorado Academy shocked Valley in four games, advancing to the championship game.

Eaton faced off against Colorado Academy for the second time that day, with the state title on the line. The Reds knew they could not let the previous win get to them. “They seemed intimidated by us the second time around,” said Kayla Carroll (12). “We did it once so we could do it again, but we knew it wouldn’t be handed to us. We had to go to work.” And the Reds did just that. The Reds squeaked out game one with a 25-23 win. Game two the Reds dominated 25-14. In the third game, the Reds were at game point 24-20. Colorado Academy returned Shelby Eden’s (12) final serve, only to see Kendra Cunningham (12) spike the ball with such an incredible force that could not be returned, clinching the 2011 State Championship for the Reds.