ARVADA — The momentum continues to build for Ralston Valley’s girls volleyball team.
The Mustangs — No. 8 in this week’s Class 5A girls volleyball CHSAANow.com rankings — dominated 5A Jeffco League rival Thursday night on Ralston Valley’s home court. Ralston Valley (9-0, 4-0 in league) swept the Chargers (2-2, 2-1) cruising to a 25-19, 25-13, 25-18 victory to stay undefeated on the season.
“It was really good to see them rise to the occasion because we’ve had two kind of lackluster games earlier this week,” Ralston Valley coach Ashley Ahlman said. “To kind of flip the switch and come out this hot against Chatfield was great.”
No. 11 Chatfield was hanging with Ralston Valley in the first set, but the Mustangs won the final five points to take a 25-19 victory to open the match. It was again a close again in the second set. A side-out by Chatfield tied the second set up 8-8, but Ralston Valley pulled off the run of the match scoring 10 straight points.
“That is tough to do against any team, but against a top team in the middle of a close match was good,” Ahlman said of the Mustangs’ run that gave Ralston Valley a commanding 18-8 lead in the second set. “In that situation you are feeling pretty good finishing off the set and going into the third.”
Ralston Valley junior Emerson Reinke was able get the best of some of her club teammates that play for Chatfield. Reinke reeled off nine straight points on her serve during the remarkable run.
“Our team was just super on tonight,” Reinke said.
The Mustangs’ main setter was instrumental in ending the match. While Reinke evenly distributed the ball in the first two sets, the junior made sure she got the ball in the hands of senior outside hitter Taylor Scherff to complete the sweep.
“As a setter — the quarterback position — it’s all about who is on and who wants to score that point,” Reinke said. “I knew she (Scherff) was on and ready. Finding her was super important.”
Scherff had four straight kills to extend Ralston Valley’s lead to 22-16 in the third set.
“She (Scherff) is kind of our go-to. She knows how to put the ball away, but the great thing about Emerson is I don’t have to tell her much,” Ahlman said. “She is a physically talented setter, but I think what sets her apart is the mental game. She knows how to spread out the offense. She is just a critical part of our offense.”
The win keeps Ralston Valley atop the conference with Columbine (4-0, 2-0). The Rebels managed their own big victory Thursday night. Columbine topped Valor Christion on Senior Night for the Rebels.
Ralston Valley faces Valor and Dakota Ridge next week before the game that could determine the conference title. The Mustangs host Columbine on Tuesday, April 20.
“We talked before this game about the opportunity to start the season 8-0 a lot of team don’t get to do that,” Ahlman said. “Then to get to prove that against a tough league opponent. I think there are a lot of naysayers that say Ralston Valley doesn’t deserve to be at the top, but if they weren’t watching us before tonight they are watching us now.”
Chatfield is right back on the court Friday with a non-league game at home against D’Evelyn. The Chargers have a trio of league games next week against Arvada West, Lakewood and Bear Creek.