Volleyball sweeps their way to State

Photo+by+Prospector+staff%0A%0AWith+a+2-0+lead+in+the+final+match+at+Regionals%2C+the+Mustangs+bring+it+together+before+their+third+game.

Photo by Prospector staff With a 2-0 lead in the final match at Regionals, the Mustangs bring it together before their third game.

The Manitou volleyball team swept both matches at the Regional tournament on Friday, November 2 to secure a spot in State, a feat they haven’t accomplished since 2005.

“I feel lucky because these girls have all the talent in the world and they work hard,” said head coach Carol Benedict. “I think this is the best team that I’ve ever stepped into.”

The Mustangs got off to a good start on the night, sweeping the first match against Pagosa Springs three games to none.

The games weren’t even close, going 25-13, 25-9 and 25-17 for Manitou.

Photo by Prospector staff
With a 2-0 lead in the final match at Regionals, the Mustangs bring it together before their third game.

Senior Meghan McGhee racked up the points in the first match with a barrage of second ball dumps that Pagosa could not anticipate.

Also, in the first game, Senior Ali Thompson brought the crowd to their feet with a kill just behind the 10-foot line.

The next match pit the Mustangs against the Machebeuf Buffalos to determine who goes to State.

The first game was close throughout, with plenty of kills from Freshman Katie McKiel and tough defense from Machebeuf’s Opal Drapeau. Once Manitou Freshman Nicole Mack got to the serving line, though, Manitou began to pull away, winning the first game 25-19.

Manitou won the second game handily, 25-10, led once again by freshmen Mack and McKiel’s powerful offense.

The third game was again close, with Machebeuf trying to keep the match and their State hopes alive. Manitou managed to fend them off, however, and won the third set 25-21 and securing their spot in State.

After the last point, Manitou fans stormed the court and surrounded the ecstatic players, who received a plaque for making it to State.

Photo by Prospector staff
Regional Champion Mustangs celebrate after their dominating performance.

“I’m so glad we’re here and that we have this opportunity. It feels amazing,” said Senior Gabby Santos.

The freshmen on the team also had much to say about State as well as their teammates.

“It’s unbelievable. I couldn’t ask for better a team,” said McKiel. “They really supported Nicole and I as freshmen and created a really good atmosphere to win.”

“It’s the most amazing feeling ever,” said Mack. “We just believe in ourselves so that’s all that really matters.”

Benedict also spoke very highly of Mack and McKiel.

“I think both of them are Division 1 if they stick with it,” said Benedict.

On Friday the Mustangs will play their first State volleyball game in seven years.

“It is the craziest thing in the world,” said Senior Ashley Benson. “I feel like I’m dreaming.”

By Keegan Bockhorst