D’Evelyn gives Evergreen its toughest matches of season

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By Alissa Noe

EVERGREEN — All season long, Evergreen volleyball has been a dominant force. D’Evelyn has been one of the only teams to challenge the Cougars.

On Thursday at home, that trend was no different. The Cougars pounced on the Jaguars and won the exotic cat fight 3-1 behind the offensive efforts of the Dillon sisters. Earlier in the season, Evergreen beat D’Evelyn 3-2.

With the win and two subsequent 3-0 victories over Holy Family and the Classical Academy, the No. 7 Cougars finished their regular season 20-3. Two of those losses came at the hands of 5A teams.

And, with a win over Littleton just a couple days earlier, the Cougars clinched the 4A Jeffco league title.

“It feels really good, finishing strong. We came out to win, and we’re excited that we finished our season undefeated. It was our goal the whole season just to push ourselves, and we really did that tonight,” senior Skylar Gale said. “This is the first time I’ve been on varsity that we won all of league, so it’s indescribable. I was ecstatic.”

Throughout the game, Claudia Dillon led the Cougars with 22 kills, followed by sister Hayley, who added 12. On the D’Evelyn side of the court, Sophia Hoffman led the Jaguar offense with 17 kills.

On defense, Jaguar senior Lorena Payne led the field with 31 digs, compared with the 26 from Evergreen’s Kodi Priegnitz.

Throughout the first set, the two teams played tight and never let the other gain much of a lead. After the Cougars went up 9-3 following a short run, the Jaguars responded with one of their own, pulling within 9-8.

After going back and forth, Evergreen pulled away in the end to win 25-20.

The second set was far more competitive. In facing a 20-16 deficit, the Jaguars battled back and outpaced Evergreen before ending the game with a 27-25 victory.

“We knew that it was going to be a tough game, so we just wanted to come in now and play as a team, and I feel like we really did that,” D’Evelyn senior Leah Sommer said. “We had so many good plays we’ve been working on in practice a lot, being smart hitters, and we were really executing that tonight.”

In the final two sets, the Cougars bounced back to win 25-20 again and 25-11.

The Jaguars head next to Holy Family High School on Friday for a regional tournament against the Tigers and Pueblo West. It’s set to start at 1:30 p.m.