Columbine held its Senior Night on Oct. 17, but it was Chatfield’s lone senior that stole the show.
In a Class 5A Jefferson County League volleyball match that featured big hitters on both sides of the net, Alysa Heath emerged as the most dominant force.
Whether it was to the left side, right side or down the middle, Heath peppered the Rebels all-night long with hard-hitting spikes. Columbine could never muster a counterattack as the Chargers won their seventh straight match, this one rather easily, 25-18, 25-20, 25-16.
“We were all thinking about this game all day (Oct. 16) and (Oct. 17) and we just really wanted to come out here and do what we normally do,” Heath said. “We did, and I’m so happy.”
Not only was the win big in terms of bragging rights, it also helped decide second place in Jeffco. With the win, Chatfield (8-1 Jeffco, 14-5 overall) finished a game ahead of Columbine (7-2, 15-3), while Lakewood won the league title with an unblemished 9-0 record.
“I’m very proud of the girls,” Chatfield coach Stephanie Schick said. “They followed the gameplan and worked really hard all week in practice leading up to the match.”
Heath and company set the tone early against their rival, often winning the battle at the net. Heath delivered several big kills, as did junior Ali Longo and sophomore Mary Pollmiller.
Down early, Columbine closed to 17-14 on a Megan Koop kill, but the Chargers rattled off eight of the next 12 points to close out the game.
The Chargers, who played a very clean game with few unforced errors, kept things rolling in the second game. They scored the first five points and forced the Rebels to burn an early timeout. Again, Columbine rallied back and only trailed 11-8 after a kill by Randee Hayes.
Then, Heath took over.
Two straight kills and three in a six-point span pushed the Chatfield lead to 17-11. Pollmiller and Longo chimed in with a pair of kills and the Chargers built a 2-0 lead, taking the second game 25-20.
“We’re blessed to have (Heath) on our team,” Longo said. “She’s an awesome leader.”
With its back against the wall, Columbine finally began showing signs of life in the third game and held a 10-8 lead before Pollmiller and Longo caught fire and pushed Chatfield back in front. Two straight kills by Heath made the score 22-15 and two points later, Pollmiller essentially finished off the Rebels with another kill that brought on match point.
“Being the only senior on the team, it’s an awesome feeling to beat Columbine,” Heath said.
The Chargers, which have won 12 of their last 13 matches, earned the No. 12 seed in the 5A district pool. They play at No. 5 Rampart, along with No. 21 Fairview, No. 28 Ralston Valley, No. 37 Boulder and No. 44 Aurora Central. The top two teams from district advance to regionals.
Columbine, the No. 13 seed, plays at No. 4 Lakewood, along with No. 20 Monarch, No. 29 Heritage, No. 36 Poudre and No. 45 Montbello.