The buzz hasn’t died down much since Cherokee Trail and Grandview stepped off the volleyball court Sept. 18.
The rival Cougars and Wolves waged a marathon match that hasn’t been seen in Aurora for quite awhile and one that victorious Cherokee Trail coach Terry Miller described as “mindblowing.”
In a frenzied environment at Grandview that Miller and Wolves coach Patty Childress agreed was “how a high school volleyball match is supposed to be,” the Cougars prevailed 21-25, 27-25, 28-26, 36-38, 16-14. Making the epic match even more special for Cherokee Trail? The fact it was the program’s first victory over Grandview.
“It could have gone either way; we just happened to be two points better,” Miller said. “On that night, our girls just absolutely refused to lose. It wasn’t going to be a team that was going to roll over and feel sorry for themselves. They knew they were going to be in battle.”
The statistics tell some of the story, as Cherokee Trail junior Shannon Webb piled up 37 kills in the match and senior setter Sidney Wicks racked up 65 assists, seven more than in her previous four matches combined. On the other side, Grandview senior Haley McLaren recorded 29 kills and senior setter Megan Hufnagel had 50 assists of her own.
The teams also combined for 164 digs, 51 blocks (including 14 apiece for Cherokee Trail’s Amazing Ashby and Grandview’s Katie Patrick) and 19 service aces.
“Shannon (Webb) came up to me afterwards and said ‘can I go to bed now?'” Miller said. “I told her, ‘yeah, you earned the right to go to sleep.’ The 37 kills that kid had was amazing.”
The rematch between the teams is scheduled for Oct. 2, the same day as the two schools play each other in football. The match is scheduled for 6:15 p.m. at Cherokee Trail, the same location where the football game is set for a 7 p.m. kickoff at Legacy Stadium.
Miller said the volleyball match may be moved up to allow fans and players to attend both games.
• The Overland co-op gymnastics team won its second invitational of the young 2014 season when it captured the crown at the Overland Invitational Sept. 20. Led by the trio of senior Devin Bundas and sophomores McKenna Turbyne and Madie Venegas — who finished 4-5-6 in the all-around standings — coach Lisa Sparrow’s team finished with some breathing room over runner-up Cherry Creek (177.4250) and well in front of third-place Mountain Range (173.300) atop the 13-team field.
• Minus leading rusher Izaiah Lottie, the Cherokee Trail football team rushed for 431 yards and five touchdowns in a 34-20 win over Rangeview in an all-Aurora battle Sept. 20 at Aurora Public Schools Stadium. Arsean Wilbon ran for 250 yards and four scores and Kyree Herron added 157 yards and a touchdown as the Cougars outdueled quarterback Quaid Vincent — who ran for a touchdown and threw for one — to improve to 3-1 on the season. Rangeview dropped to 2-2.
• The Grandview football team put an emphatic end to a recent losing streak against ThunderRidge with a 44-0 victory Sept. 19 at Legacy Stadium. The Grizzlies won regular season and playoff meetings with the Wolves in the 2012 and 2013 seasons, but had no answer this time as Cody Summers and Chukwuma Obinnah scored two touchdowns apiece to lead the way. Defensive lineman Tilmon Gash helped Grandview invoke the running clock 40-point mercy rule with a fumble return touchdown for the defense, which posted its second shutout in four games.
• Sophomore quarterback Shae Wyatt passed for two touchdowns and ran for a pair as the Smoky Hill football team got in the win column for the first time in the 2014 season with a 48-14 victory over Gateway on Sept. 19 at APS Stadium. Malik Seals Pompey and Dante Lewis caught touchdown passes and Robert Woods and Josiah Salas rushed for scores in the Buffs’ victory over the Olys, who lost on homecoming despite two rushing scores from quarterback Rashaud Beauford. At halftime, Gateway honored its one and only league championship-winning football team — the 2004 squad that won the Continental American League title — with several former players and coaches in attendance. Former coach Jeff Sweet and assistant Justin Hoffman were onhand, as well as players such as William Pendarvis, Greg Bolling and Matt Gleason.
• Merhawet Taeme won the girls title at the 57th annual Aurora Invitational cross country meet Sept. 18 at the Aurora Sports Park, helping Hinkley to second place behind Brighton and ahead of third-place Rangeview. Brighton also won the boys team championship, followed by Rangeview and Hinkley.
Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. Facebook: Aurora Prep Sentinel. IG: Auroraprepsentinel