MONUMENT — The Discovery Canyon Thunder came into The Cave at Palmer Ridge High and made a ton of noise, but it was the Palmer Ridge Bears who had the final say, winning 20-25, 25-19, 22-25, 25-18, 15-9.
It's a win that can reshape the outlook of the Pikes Peak Athletic Conference as the Thunder was ranked No. 1 in the Class 4A CHSAANow.com rankings with the Bears checking in at No. 7.
Senior Naeemah Weathers sealed the victory with a vicious spike, giving the Bears a 15-9 win in the final set. Weathers also had some key blocks in the middle sets that gave Palmer Ridge the momentum they needed.
Weathers said that the message before the final set was that if they fought as hard as they did in the first sets that they played, that they needed to finish through no matter what
“Even if we lost, we had to push our hardest,” said Weathers. “We lost to (Discovery Canyon) in state last year so that was a big motivator for us to be able to beat them in a home game in our gym and just be able to take it home.”
“They're just as tough as they were last year,” said Bears head coach Trevor Sullivan. “I’m very proud (of my girls)), their tenacity was probably my favorite thing. We kept our foot on the accelerator, we’ve got to push to the end.”
Discovery Canyon took the first set, but Palmer Ridge was able to even it up one apiece after the second set. The Thunder won the next set by a slim margin after Palmer Ridge lost the lead late in the set, but the Bears came roaring back with seven-point win in set four.
“I like to tell our team if the first few sets don’t necessarily go our way that we have to decide what team we want to be,” said Sullivan. “I think at that point we decided that we were going to be the team that was the aggressor in this one.”
The final set was all Palmer Ridge as they jumped out to an early 4-1 lead and never relinquished it.
“We had momentum going into that fifth set,” continued Sullivan. “So that was kind of my mindset going into that and again focusing on being the aggressor and not waiting for teams to strike at us but striking first. (Discovery Canyon) is an awesome team and I think that’s how our league stacks up. Every night we go out, it’s going to be a battle just like this.”
The Bears now stand at 8-4-0 while Discovery Canyon suffer just their third loss of the season. The Thunder are now 10-3-0 on the season.