Vista PEAK’s Madison Feight (4) and Ayden West (9) put up a block on an attack by Brighton’s Deni Jackson during the Bison’s five-set EMAC girls volleyball loss to the Bulldogs on April 20, 2021, at Vista PEAK Prep. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel Colorado)

AURORA | With seemingly every shot falling and their opponents across the net in disarray, it seemed too easy for Kirsten Anderson and the Vista PEAK girls volleyball team Tuesday night.

The standout outside hitter and the Bison had all the momentum, owned a two-set lead against visiting Brighton and had the driver’s seat to the EMAC championship and the accompanying automatic spot in the Class 5A postseason nearly secured.

But four points from finishing off a perfect night that also included the honoring of Anderson and fellow seniors Andrea Chavez and Marissa King, things got a lot harder. Vista PEAK watched the Bulldogs find their groove with their backs to the wall and come back to steal a 25-15, 25-23, 23-25, 23-25, 15-9 victory.

Despite 14 kills from Anderson, 22 more from sophomore Joy Aburto, Chavez’s serving prowess and large contributions for several other players, coach Simon Moorwood’s team couldn’t overcome Brighton’s dominance at the net and suddenly dynamic defense with the match in the balance and dropped to 6-4 overall and 4-1 in the EMAC.

Ironically, the teams will meet again Wednesday night at Brighton (9-2, 5-0) — a match added when another EMAC opponent dropped out — but the result has no league implications.

Because of the five-set loss, however, Vista PEAK now needs to win that match to give itself hope to qualify for an at-large spot in the 5A postseason, which shrunk from its usual 36 teams to 24 due to changes caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Bison then continue a very busy closing week to the regular season with road matches at Regis Jesuit Thursday, Rangeview Friday and Northglenn Saturday.

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

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