DENVER — Kit Carson volleyball successfully defended their Class 1A championship on Saturday night.
The Wildcats defeated La Veta 3-1, as the the game swung in their direction in set No. 3.
Matching up Aug. 31, Kit Carson gave La Veta its lone loss of the season, 3-2. With a third state championship on the line, Kit Carson coach Penny Isenbart knew it was going to be a difficult opponent once again on Saturday.
“They were very good. I was worried going in because that game earlier in the season could have gone either way," Isenbart said. "Thought we were both pretty equal, but we made a couple of big plays to get the job done.”
After splitting the first two sets (La Veta took the first, Kit Carson took the second), both teams exchanged blows in the third frame. Kit Carson and La Veta tied four times in the first 20 points, tying 10-10.
Five unanswered points by the La Veta put the game in manageable position before exploding to a 21-13 lead.
The heart of the champion doesn’t die, and Kit Carson displayed this theory with seven straight points. Headlined by the play of seniors Olivia Isenbart, McKenzie Smith and Tess Hornung, the Lady Wildcats tied the contest at 24.
Taking their first lead in the set since 10-9, one of many kills by Smith put her team in the driver’s seat 25-24, before ultimately taking point 26 to clinch a 2-1 lead.
“I hope that set teaches them that in life never to give up,” Isenbart said. “You just have to keep battling however small a segment is. I hope that is what they have learned from volleyball, keep on keeping on.”
With the set three victory, it looked early on in set No. 4 that the air had been taken out of the La Veta group that expended so much energy in the tough defeat.
However, after falling behind 6-2, senior Kaylee Corsentino and junior Nya Sciacca notched the score to a tie of six. As the lead changed hands four more times, too much size and power up front from Isenbart, Smith, and others concluded another special night for Kit Carson volleyball.
“It’s a great group of girls," Isenbart said. "These seniors have been playing volleyball since they were in kindergarten and the ride has been awesome to see. They have worked so hard and given a lot to this program.”