Soroco volleyball makes history, qualifies for state tournament for 1st time
OAK CREEK — The Soroco High School volleyball team made history Saturday. With a 3-1 victory over No. 32 Colorado Springs School, the team was crowned the 2A Region 5 champs and qualified for the state tournament for the first time in program history.
“It’s exhilarating,” senior Peyton Parker said. “We made history for the first time our sophomore year; that was our first time making it to regionals. ”We just made history, again, getting out of regionals, breaking that boundary and getting to state.”
Two years ago, the team made it to regionals for what is thought to be the first time in program history and lost. Last year, the team returned to regionals and lost. This year, powered by eight seniors, the team was ranked No. 5 in the state and got to host the regional.
Soroco was supposed to host two teams and whichever team won two games would advance to the state tournament. However, the team found out this morning that No. 20 Dolores would not be making the trip. So, Soroco and Colorado Springs School would have a one-game showdown. Whoever won went to state.
It may have altered the entire format of the day, but it didn’t change a thing for the Rams.
“Nothing changed,” senior Emi Ramirez said. We just had to keep on going and keep our eyes forward and just play to the best of our ability like we’ve been doing all season long.”
The Rams played scared and conservative in the first set, missing serves and watching balls pass by. Even playing poorly, they still kept it close. The game was tied every couple points until the Kodiaks won out 27-25. Soroco was the better team; they just had to play like they knew that.
Their confidence, and therefore their skills, returned in the second set, as the Rams jumped out to a 7-1 lead. The Kodiaks tied it at 16, but Soroco pulled ahead 19-16 thanks to a powerful swing from senior Sophia Benjamin. Soroco went on to win the set 25-19.
Set three was nearly pure Soroco volleyball. Senior Irene Hoff offered up one of her signature, powerful serves, and the Kodiaks had trouble with it. The receive soared just over the net. Benjamin slammed the ball to the floor, earning her team a 2-0 lead. Later, an ace from Parker ballooned the lead to 18-8. Parker served her team to a 25-10 victory.
With their morale at full capacity, the Rams didn’t blink when Colorado Springs School started the fourth with a 4-0 lead. They simply tied it up.
The set remained close through an 11-11 tie, but no one panicked. A hit from Benjamin gave The Rams a 12-11 lead and put Parker back on the service line. Once again, she and Soroco went on a hot streak, creating a 16-11 advantage. Soroco carried that lead all the way to a 25-19 win, sealed with a Parker kill.
“It’s surreal,” head coach Jeannie Jo Logan said. “I’m incredibly proud. I think nerves were a factor in the first game. We talked every night all week about what they needed to do and control. They had a really great practice this week. They were pretty spot on. It was amazing to be a part of that. … They’re all seniors. They’ve been playing together for a very long time. It’s just super special.”
The state tournament will take place in Colorado Springs at the Broadmoor World Arena on Nov. 11-13.
Soroco 3, Colorado Springs School 1
• CSS 27 19 10 19 – 1
• S 25 25 25 25 – 3
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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