AURORA – There was no bigger volleyball match on Thursday than the battle of Class 5A's No. 4 and No. 5 teams Rock Canyon traveled to Regis Jesuit.
Rock Canyon increased its winning streak to four in the 3-1 win (25-19, 21-25, 25-23, 26-24). Regis Jesuit came into the match reeling from two straight losses and playing for a third consecutive night didn't help break its streak.
Raiders coach Laura Dunston expressed how hard it was for her team to play three matches in row.
"Its tough, they're tired, especially because they usually have two to three hours of homework" she said. "We played better than we did the rest of the week, but we still have a long ways to go."
Rock Canyon (7-1 overall, 1-0 Continental League) started strong start in the first set of the match, jumping out to a 11-5 lead. From the start, it looked like their schedule from this week was taking its toll on Regis Jesuit (6-5, 0-2). The Raiders were able to finish the set strong and bring the score close but it was too little, too late and they dropped the opening set 25-19
The Raiders gained momentum in the second set and went on a 5-0 run causing the Jaguars to call a timeout. It didn't help as the Raiders cruised the rest of the way to win the set 25-19.
Outside hitter Keeley Davis had a huge impact for the Jaguars. She kept the plays alive plenty of times throughout the game to help give her team the spark they needed. When the team needed to capitalize the most, Davis was there with vicious strikes.
"I think we played really good," Davis said. "Our defense was really good, our offense was really good. We were just going at it because we were excited to play Regis."
Regis Jesuit continued to put up a fight and found ways to tie the set up six different times in the third set leading to an intense 23-23 tie. But Rock Canyon came out and scored the final two points to finish the set, winning 25-23.
After a close previous set, Regis Jesuit was the aggressor and battled to the end. The Raiders controlled most of the set leading 11-7. The Jaguars played like they didn't want to give the Raiders another chance and came back in a back and forth set that was tied 24-24. Both teams traded momentum but Rock Canyon came out as victors with 26-24 win in the final set.
"I think pulling it together and not letting down, getting those few runs throughout some of the game kept us going. We kept swinging didn't really hesitate," said Jaguars coach Angela Nylund-Hanson.
Nylund-Hanson and Davis both said their expectations were to make it to state and look to be headed in the right direction.
Rock Canyon looks to continue its win streak Tuesday in a home matchup against Chaparral. Regis Jesuit gets some much needed rest and looks to get back in the win column when they face Castle View, also on Tuesday.