Lewis-Palmer volleyball named MaxPreps' national champion

State volleyball Lewis-Palmer Denver Coliseum

Lewis-Palmer volleyball finished at No. 1 in MaxPreps' national rankings. (Ryan Casey/CHSAANow.com)

Lewis-Palmer volleyball had a jaw-dropping run to the Class 4A state championship.

The squad went unbeaten (29-0) and dropped only five sets (83-5) the entire season.

Wednesday, the Rangers accomplished something no other Colorado volleyball program has: they won a national championship.

Lewis-Palmer finished at No. 1 in MaxPreps' final national high school volleyball rankings, and captured the site's "mythical national championship."

"Winning a national title never entered our mind," Lewis-Palmer coach Susan Odenbaugh told MaxPreps.

The Rangers started the season at No. 14 in the rankings, known as MaxPreps' Xcellent 25. They moved up to No. 1 poll on Nov. 11 after previous No. 1 St. Ursula of Ohio lost in its championship game. That was three days after Lewis-Palmer beat Ponderosa 3-1 to win the 4A crown.

Alexa Smith Lewis-Palmer volleyball

Lewis-Palmer's Alexa Smith. (Tim Visser/MaxPreps)

It was the second-straight championship for the Rangers, who beat Air Academy to win in 2013. They have won 35 consecutive matches, and 46 of 47.

Odenbaugh told CHSAANow.com after the championship game that the unbeaten season was a goal of theirs — even though the schedule included many tough opponents in both 4A and 5A, including eventual 5A champion Grandview.

"We didn't let anyone know," Odenbaugh said then. "But we knew that we had the potential to do that if we stayed together as a team and we worked hard. It's nice to see a group of young girls give everything they can, pursue a goal and walk out successful."

Lewis-Palmer was led by senior Alexa Smith, who is a candidate for MaxPreps' National Player of the Year award. She averaged a team-leading 12.4 kills and 7.0 digs per match.