The Paonia Lady Eagles volleyball team entered state with a 25-0 record and seeded fourth. It fell short on its hopes of a state title after dropping the first pool play match to No. 9-seeded Yuma Friday (25-18, 25-8, 25-19).
Paonia ended the match with a negative hitting percentage and 62 errors, including 22 attack and seven service errors. It was its worst match of the season in terms of errors and hitting percentages.
"We never got into an offensive groove, we didn't have one player that really stepped up," said head coach Krista Carsten. "To have such a successful season and end it the way we did was pretty disappointing."
Top-seeded Resurrection Christian knocked Yuma out of the running in a five-game battle, then beat the defending state champion Lutheran Lions to win the state championship.
Saturday morning's best-of-three match against Sangre de Cristo was little more than a consolation game, and the girls played better, said Carsten, "but still far from the team I coached all season." Paonia had one of its worst matches in terms of kill and hitting percentages, second only to the Yuma match.
Pops McRae coached high school football on the Front Range for more than 40 years and brings numerous playoff trips to the coaching staff.
The elder McRae believes Paonia can keep winning. "We've got a lot of talent. It's a little inexperienced, and it just keeps getting better every week," said McRae.
With one big win between them and the championship game, the senior McRae said that keeping the team focused on Saturday's game isn't hard.
"When you get to the semis, it's going to be easy to keep them serious, because it's going to be pretty darn hard."blog comments powered by Disqus