As volleyball’s regular season came to a close, the team fought their way to state before saying farewell to five seniors.
Senior night for TJ volleyball kicked off for their game against South High School early this October. The girls moved on from their victory against South to a hard-fought loss against their rivals, East High School, before going on to compete in regionals. The girls dominated regionals and secured their spot in the state competition on November 11th and 12th.
The South game was action packed, with the girls winning three sets in a row. At the beginning of the South match, the team said their farewells to seniors Annie McAninch, Jaden Sandoval, Morgan Hinton-Moreno, Paula Mortel, and JaNaya Hudley. These girls helped make the team a family this year, especially captains Sandoval and McAninch. Sandoval, the MVP of the South game, said, “The crowd is always so supportive and so fun to play in front of, and I can’t imagine the last two years any differently.” Each senior girl has been a valuable member to the team and will be greatly missed after they graduate from TJ. The juniors on varsity and the coaches each had the opportunity to write something to the seniors that they read to say their farewells. The juniors have big shoes to fill, but the seniors have a set a great example for them to follow.
The team, especially the seniors, hoped to beat East High School in their next game. The game against East kicked off in the TJ gym with a packed crowd. East won the first match, but TJ fought to win the second match before unfortunately losing the next two. The games were tight and the girls showed that they clearly deserved a spot in the post season.
Following the South and East games, the girls lost their first match against Colorado Christian High School, but brought their “A” game in a tournament on October 23rd, and ended up third overall. Despite their losses, the girls were excited for regionals, especially since they had the opportunity to host. “It is a huge deal to be in the top twelve and host regionals, and to be one of the twelve teams that actually makes it to state,” said Sandoval. TJ kicked off the regionals competition with a 3-0 win against Mead. After Mead played Longmont, TJ went on to beat Longmont, which gave them a place in the state competition.
State took place on November 11th and 12th at the Denver Coliseum. The girls’ first game was against Montrose High School, number four in the 4A division. The girls put on a phenomenal performance that lead to a 3-1 win against Montrose. The following day, they played Pueblo West High School, but unfortunately lost 0-3. Despite this loss, the girls proved that they are a force to be reckoned with heading into next season. “I’m excited to prove to Colorado once again that TJ is a competitive in sports,” said sophomore Gracey Jarecke, “We’ve got some incredible athletes and terrific coaches!”
The girls whirlwind season has come to a close but they are ready to come back next year better than ever. After saying their farewells to the seniors, the sophomores and juniors are ready to step up and continue the legacy these seniors have left.