DENVER | The Grandview girls volleyball team dropped the first two points of its Class 5A state tournament opener against Denver South Thursday.
Coach Rob Graham’s Wolves didn’t lose a whole lot more in the rest of the match.
Fifth-seeded Grandview shook off the early deficit to the 12th-seeded Ravens — who had pulled off a massive upset of Legend in regional play to reach the state tournament — and cruised the rest of the way for a 25-6, 25-15, 25-16 victory that put the Wolves into an afternoon winners bracket match against fourth-seeded Rampart.
Grandview improved to 20-6 on the season and will take on the Rams (21-4) — who had an opening round bye) in a match scheduled for 3:30 p.m. if the prior matches run on time. It will be a rematch of programs that played in the 2020 state championship match won by Rampart.
The Wolves ceded the first two points to Denver South — which was backed by a large student section and its band — but a tip and kill from junior Emerson Deferme got Grandview back to even quickly.
With Deferme serving (and netting two aces off the tape) the Wolves then ripped off eight straight points. Junior Brenna Kelly then was on serve for five more points to extend the lead to 19-4 and closed it out with Gabriella Placide serving as senior Haley Glunz recorded a kill and a block for the final two points.
Denver South again took the first two points of the second set, which swung back and forth in the early going and was tied at 7-7 until Grandview began to edge away. Back-to-back finishes by Deferme and another by Glunz — who has flourished since her return to the middle earlier in the season — gave the Wolves some separation.
The Ravens were within 17-13 before Glunz recorded two more kills and junior Keona Bui and Placide had key putaways and Deferme ended it with a kill.
Grandview started out on top in the third set and maintained the lead the entire way as senior Abbey Hemp got things started out strong in the service game. Defermce recorded a late ace to bring up match point and a Denver South net serve ended the match.
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports