Rebels dominate districts

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By Lauren Gaddie-Johnson

LAKEWOOD — Changing things up is sometimes good advice to follow.

Just ask the Columbine volleyball team.

When the Rebels’ play started to get stale and they took two big losses to Class 5A Jefferson County League rivals Lakewood and Chatfield late in the season, the Rebels knew change was on the way.

Getting away from the familiar proved to be the right choice as Columbine won the 5A District 4 championship on Oct. 25 with a win over Lakewood in the final game of the day.

Since Columbine and Lakewood were the top two finishers in the district, both teams advance to regionals.

The news got even better for the Rebels, as by virtue of their win, they will host one of the four regional brackets. Regional play begins Nov. 1 and the top two teams from each region advance to state. Rocky Mountain, Rampart and Smoky Hill are in Columbine's region.

“Some of us are playing different positions and we’re working a different practice schedule which seems to have made a big difference,” Senior Randee Hayes said. “Before in practice, we were just doing drills and not doing them in ‘game time.’ Now, we have to get three out of five drills completely done correctly and that’s more like a real game. If we do three out of five, then we’re completing 60 percent and that’s like what we see when we’re playing a real game.”

Aimee Thomas, a senior middle hitter, said that their coach, Kathy Miks, decided to shake up the roster a little to see if the girls would respond to some change.

“She’s starting to put in new girls and starting a new rotation,” Thomas said. “She put in a freshman this last game against Mountain View and she just wants the best people out on the court.”

Thomas said that before district play, Miks brought some junior varsity players up to play on varsity.

“Coach is trying to get a little more variety and use a different lineup,” Thomas added.

Hayes said that the loss to Chatfield in the regular season finale was almost a kind of motivator that the team needed heading into the postseason.

“We figured out we needed to work harder and that everything doesn’t come as easy as we thought,” Hayes said.