Denver (11/14/15) – Tied at 17 in their first-round 3A state playoff match with Colorado’s number-one volleyball team, the Coal Ridge Titans suffered a critical loss on an unlucky Friday the 13th.
Kaitlyn Detelefsen, the Titans’ devastating middle hitter who has signed to play for the University of Northern Colorado, went down with a possible MCL knee injury. Coach Aimee Gerber says video shows the Titans won that point, but somehow after Kaitlyn was helped off the court, the defending state champion Eaton Reds had a two-point lead. They would go on to win that game and the next two for the match, eliminating Coal Ridge from the semi-finals at the Denver Coliseum.
Because of the round-robin format, the Titans still had another match to play, with Frontier Academy Saturday morning. In their first game, the Titans seemed to be missing their big hitter and never really got untracked, losing 25-12. However, game two was a different story as freshman Kara Morgan sparked an early run with a couple of kills and five straight service points for a 9-3 lead. The Wolvarines, behind the thunder-shots of Jenna Cardenas and Delainey O’Connell’s serving, surged back into the lead, 13-12, but a block by Kaitlyn Harlow, again with Morgan serving put Coal Ridge back on top 15-14. Morgan, aided by Nicole Mooney’s kill and her own service ace, ran the score up to 20-14, and with Dana Kotz serving, Mooney and Kotz dropped in a pair of well-placed taps to finish off the 25-19 victory.
With Detelefsen limited to rooting her teammates on, the Titans had only one other senior, Karissa Feese, on the court. So even though Frontier Academy narrowly won the next two games, 25-20 and 26-24, the Titans essentially were gaining valuable state playoff experience for the 11 players who will return next season. Kotz continually set up Mooney (6), Harlow (3), and Morgan (3) for kills and Emily Wright with her digs and Brittany Rhodes and Cassie Greene also had their moments at the net, boding well for the future.
“I could not be more proud of this Titan volleyball team,” Gerber said. “We faced the ‘giant’ (Eaton)… and our girls fought hard the whole match and did not give up.”