Ralston Valley volleyball clinches 5A Jeffco title with win over Valor

Dennis Pleuss
Jeffco Public Schools
Posted 4/26/21

ARVADA — The girls volleyball Class 5A Jeffco League title is returning to Ralston Valley High School. The Mustangs — No. 7 in the latest 5A CHSAANow.com rankings — officially wrapped up the …

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Ralston Valley volleyball clinches 5A Jeffco title with win over Valor

Posted

ARVADA — The girls volleyball Class 5A Jeffco League title is returning to Ralston Valley High School.

The Mustangs — No. 7 in the latest 5A CHSAANow.com rankings — officially wrapped up the conference title with a straight set 25-12, 25-20, 25-14 victory over No. 10 Valor Christian on April 21 at Ralston Valley. It’s first league title for Ralston Valley’s volleyball program since 2015.

“I think it was all excited nerves,” Ralston Valley junior Morgan McChesney said of the Mustangs having the chance to clinch the conference title at home. “We are just super excited to have this opportunity this season to go really far and do something really cool out here.”

Valor and Chatfield had split the past four 5A Jeffco League titles. Valor won back-to-back titles in 2018 and 2019 after Chatfield won two straight in 2016 and 2017.

“It is something we’ve talked. We look at that banner in the corner of the gym frequently and say we are next,” Ralston Valley coach Ashley Ahlman said of the 2015 5A Jeffco League championship banner. “We talk about where they are going to hang our banner. For them to celebrate that tonight and see all their hard work payoff. Not a lot of teams get to set a goal and then come out and earn it. It’s really special.”

It was an outstanding 24 hours for the Mustangs (14-0, 8-0 in 5A Jeffco). Ralston Valley rallied from a 1-0 deficit against Columbine the night before to eventually take a 3-1 victory against the Rebels (10-1, 7-1) with the conference lead on the line.

There was no letdown after the emotional victory against Columbine. It was all Mustangs against the defending 5A state champion Eagles on Wednesday night.

“Columbine and Valor are both great teams. We had so much fun playing both of them,” Ralston Valley senior Taylor Scherff said. “We were ready and so excited to play both teams.”

Ralston Valley dominated the first set with junior Jordan Wisner shining with a handful of kills from her right outside-hitter position. Freshman Maddy Dominick won four straight service points for the Mustangs to stretch out Ralston Valley’s lead to double-digits.

The second set was a little closer. Valor sophomore Taylor Bowman got the Eagles (7-4, 5-3) going offensively and also had a monster block to help Valor get out to an early lead.

“Out of that timeout there was a little bit of a wake-up call,” Ahlman said of her timeout she called with Ralston Valley trailing 10-6 in the second set. “Valor wasn’t going to give us anything. Everyone wants to beat that team on top. It proved this team can flip a switch and go into another gear.”

Junior setter Emerson Reinke showed off her creatively with a brilliant dink out of the timeout that caught Valor off guard. Ralston Valley then went on a 7-0 run on Reinke’s serve to take command of the set.

“I think this team is really good job at failure recovery. Volleyball is a game of mistakes,” McChesney said. “Once we make a mistake the team really rallies around each other.”

There were few errors for Ralston Valley to close out the third set and the sweep. McChesney dominated the middle of the net with a handful of kills and a few blocks defensively for good measure.

“It was a normal game tonight. We weren’t super nervous,” Scherff said summing up the regular-season home finale for Ralston Valley. “We just trust each other so much. We know at the end of the day we are going to show up, try our hardest and show a lot of effort.”

The Mustangs are in-line to be one of the top-8 seeds that will host regional tournaments Saturday, May 1. During a normal season the top-12 seeds host regionals.

“This year it’s more important than ever,” Ahlman said about hosting a regional. “With only 8 host sites the competition is going to be a little tougher at regionals. The higher we finish the better.”

Scherff is excited to play a few more matches at Ralston Valley before the Mustangs hopefully head to the state tournament May 12 and 13 at the World Arena in Colorado Springs.

“It’s such an advantage playing at home,” Scherff said. “I love our gym. It is home for us. We feel so comfortable here.”

Dennis Pleuss is the Sports Information Director for Jeffco Public Schools. For more Jeffco coverage go to CHSAANow.com/Jeffco.

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