Cherokee Trail’s Kaci Young (10) and Ashlynne Manuel (5) put up a block on an attack by Cherry Creek’s Anna Van Wyck during the Cougars’ three-set loss to the Bruins on Oct. 10, 2022, at Cherry Creek High School. The match decided the Centennial League regular season championship. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel Colorado)

GREENWOOD VILLAGE | A few days after one of its most memorable victories in quite some time, the Cherokee Trail girls volleyball team saw the Centennial League championship just slip through its fingers.

Coach Harry Hendon’s Cougars slugged it out with rival Grandview Oct. 6 in a match in which three of the five sets needed extra points to decided and they came out on top of a 21-25, 27-25, 26-24, 20-25, 20-18 decision. Sanaa Grant had 17 kills in the victory for Cherokee Trail, while Gwen Mitchell added 14, which was enough to overcome 18 from the Wolves’ Emerson Deferme and 13 apiece from Gabriella Placide and Keona Bui.

The win also earned the Cougars a chance to play for the Centennial League championship against Cherry Creek, with the winner automatically qualifying for the Class 5A postseason.

Cherokee Trail had its chances in all three sets — including a couple of set points in the third — but the defending 5A state champion Bruins prevailed 25-23, 25-19, 27-25.

Grant finished with a team-high six kills (plus seven blocks and 16 digs) for Cherokee Trail, while fellow senior Zoe Ackerman had five. Junior Emily Schwab led the Cougars with four aces — which helped in their big rally in the third set — and junior Willow Snow racked up 19 digs.

Centennial League teams move into a mini league tournament (which begins Oct. 13) and then have one more tournament to conclude the regular season.

Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports

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