DENVER — 140 miles separate Yuma High School and the Denver Coliseum, but their volleyball team was back on the courts Saturday for a Class 2A finale.
The Indians (the No. 1 seed) jumped at the opportunity, winning over Denver Christian in three sets, 25-21, 25-14, 25-14. The result earned Yuma another crown in a familiar setting. They were the runner-up to Lyons last season, but topped the two-seeded Thunder this time.
With all-staters like Cody Robinson (1st team) and Chasey Bach (2nd team) back in the lineup, the Indians knew a championship could be at their fingertips.
First, it needed to be pried from Denver Christian (24-2 record). The Thunder trailed early in the first set, then drew even at 17 points apiece. But, Yuma closed with an 8-4 run and never looked back, opening bigger leads and controlling the last two sets.
Yuma held a noticeable height advantage over most Thunder players, one reason they were able to grasp control.
“We have three or four girls 5-9 or taller and they have one,” Bach said. “She did a really good job (sophomore Jacki Bogner), but our tall girls got it done in the end.”
Yuma has a reputation for championship-contending teams with five straight finals in volleyball. That success has carried in to the winter (27-0 record, 2A basketball champs in 2017) as well.
In fact, both Robinson and Bach were all-state honorees in hoops for the red and white. They also posted over 1,000 kills over the course of their volleyball careers and Bach suited up for all four title matches.
Fellow seniors like Robinson, Tania Morales, Trinity Law, and Taylor Hansen will graduate with plenty of accolades themselves, helping the school experience a major surge of success in girls sports.
Tuneups like the five set win over Kit Carson in the regular season (1A champions) prepared the Indians for tournament success. They also defeated Meeker, Wiggins, and Holly at the Denver Coliseum.
In the process, a school with just over 200 students won their third volleyball crown (2015, 1990). They get to bring another trophy back to the northeast corner of the state.
“Our community really supports us through the good and the bad,” Bach said. “We do it for them, our coaches, and ourselves. I think our school will be pretty proud.”
Bach, a presence at 6-feet, is considering a college career in volleyball. On Saturday, she just wanted to soak in the memories from her final prep match.
“Obviously winning state is what I’ll remember most from this season, but also we just all had fun, got along pretty good, and we’re one big family,” she said.
As for Denver Christian, the Thunder appeared in a volleyball championship match for the first time as 6-foot-2 Bogner (over 350 kills) and junior Anna Kaemingk (nearly 300 kills) led the way. They had claimed 21 wins in a row entering the final match.