With the Clear Creek volleyball season coming to an end, Coach Karin Thomsen said she hoped her players have learned to be scrappy and to fight hard.
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That grit and determination was on display Thursday night as the Golddiggers took on Denver Christian at home. Even though, Clear Creek lost in three sets, senior outside hitter Kaleigh Kittelberger said the team played better than expected against the top-ranked Denver Christian.
“We kept the energy up throughout the match,” Kittelberger said, adding that she felt she did well at covering and digging out spikes during the match.
The first set was particularly close as Clear Creek kept it competitive the entire time. The Golddiggers took the lead at 17-16, but lost it shortly thereafter. After the Thunder made it 24-19, the Golddiggers scored three successive points before their opponents closed out the set.
The second set was a completely different story, as Denver Christian got ahead early.
Coming out of a timeout at 11-5, the Thunder scored nine points while the Golddiggers only scored two. Denver Christian's offense was firing on all cylinders and Clear Creek's errors were costly.
Staring down set point at 24-8, the Golddiggers fought hard on two successive long volleys.
Senior middle blocker Maxine Inman went toe-to-toe against Denver Christian senior Grace Roth, who is over 6-feet tall. Inman had three individual blocks on Roth throughout the match, and during those late second-set volleys, had several good hits as well , before the visiting team closed out the set 25-10.
The third set started out close like the first, with the teams tied at four points. However, Clear Creek's errors on serve receives and blocks put Denver Christian up 12-6 at a Golddiggers timeout.
Coming out of the timeout, Clear Creek scored three consecutive points, but it wasn't enough. Denver Christian won the set 25-14.
Thomsen said that the Thunder offense tipped a lot, and by the time the Golddiggers started to read that, they were too far behind.
Thursday's match put Clear Creek at 4-14 overall and 3-7 in league play, while Denver Christian was sitting at 14-3 overall and 10-0 in the league.
As of Thursday night, both teams had four more matches left in the season, including Clear Creek's senior night Oct. 26 against Platte Canyon.
“It's scary that it's coming to an end,” Kittelberger said of the season.
Kittelberger said she and her four fellow seniors have been playing volleyball together for at least six years, adding, “We've all grown up together. … We're very close.”
Thomsen agreed that this year's seniors are an amazing group who've worked hard to become better volleyball players because “they were already amazing human beings.”
She added that she wanted the entire team to learn how to apply the lessons they've learned in volleyball to life, including how to work hard and fight for things.
Thomsen added: “I wanted them to be fearless tonight.”
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