Keeley Davis powers Rock Canyon volleyball to sweep over Cheyenne Mountain

(Dan Mohrmann/CHSAANow.com)

COLORADO SPRINGS — That thing hanging off the right side of Rock Canyon's Keeley Davis isn't a right arm as much as it is a rocket launcher.

And when she is locked on to her target, there is almost no way to defend the projectile coming off her hand.

Davis stood out as the primary weapon in Class 5A No. 3 Rock Canyon's 25-13, 25-19, 25-18 over 4A No. 3 Cheyenne Mountain.

"When the sets are there, it's pretty crazy," Davis said. "But it all depends."

The set was there for her to attempt 27 hits. She connected on 14 of them, successfully hitting at 44 percent as the Jaguars (6-1 overall) had little trouble completing the sweep against a young Cheyenne Mountain team.

A 9-0 run in the first set put Rock Canyon up 13-3 and putting the Indians (0-2) on their heels early. Coach David Barkley admitted that the slow start didn't do his team any favors considering the talent that was occupying the space on the other side of the net.

"It's sad that we got off to a slow start," Barkley said. "We started playing better as the match went on. Consistency is a thing that we have to work for. We had really nice moments, we just need to be consistent."

(Dan Mohrmann/CHSAANow.com)

Cheyenne jumped out to early leads in the second and third sets, but was just unable to keep pace with the Jags.

And it seemed that every time Rock Canyon needed a shift in momentum, setter Abi Leitner found Davis and the tide began to turn.

"She always talks about a lot and that's what I like about a hitter so I can find her on the court," Leitner said. "She's really consistent, so I know I can plug into Keeley."

That's how it's been for Rock Canyon for the last four years now. She has been a reliable offensive weapon since her freshman year and big-time school across the country noticed early.

She announced all the way back in October of 2015 that she would play volleyball at Creighton. But in the time since then, she has done nothing but help Rock Canyon be successful on the court. She amassed 421 kills as a junior and got the team to the state semifinals where the Jags fell to Mountain Vista.

Her experience might even be a bigger weapon for the team than her rocket launcher of a right arm.

"She's our senior leader this year," Rock Canyon coach Angela Nylund-Hanson said. "She's been on varsity all four years and she knows what to expect so she can really settle the rest of those girls who have those nerves. It's her ability to lead the team that's important."

Still early in the season, the Jaguars need wins against programs like Cheyenne Mountain to get battle-tested in their search for a 5A title.

Barkley's squad might be young and might be going through its own trial by fire, but a win over Cheyenne Mountain will pay dividends for Rock Canyon down the line.

"I think this is a great match to she how we play together," Davis said.

And if nothing else for an early-season contest, it can help build confidence and momentum.

"It's helped a lot with our confidence," Leitner said. "Playing against high-level teams just helps me figure out that I can do this every single time."