Saints return to state |

Saints return to state

Vail Christian volleyball celebrates its berth in the state tournament after winning the Region A Tournament on Saturday in La Veta.
Special to the Daily |

LA VETA — Guess who’s back?

OK, Vail Christian volleyball really didn’t go anywhere, but, after a year’s absence, the Saints are returning to the state tournament down at the Denver Coliseum after winning the Region A Tournament on Saturday in La Veta.

The Saints (16-7) defeated Cotopaxi, 25-6, 25-10, 25-20, and La Veta, 25-13, 25-8, 25-20, for the crown and the accompanying state berth.

“It’s exciting,” senior middle-blocker Celia Smith said. “I’ve never been to state for volleyball before. This is going to be one of the best experiences ever. It’s senior year, too.”

For Vail Christian, this is the school’s fifth trip to the Denver Coliseum, having previously attended in 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2011. While coach Cathy Alexander is the only head volleyball coach the school has ever had, each time is special.

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“It’s awesome to go with both kids,” said Alexander, whose elder daughter, Kylie, was on the 2010 and 2011 squads, and whose younger, Taylor, is on this year’s edition. “This group of girls is a fun group. They have depth. I’m not just relying on six girls.”

Depth was in play on Saturday, as coach Alexander used all 12 Saints in the opener against Cotopaxi. That allowed her to rest some of her starters, and the Saints still cruised.

It also helps when you serve very well. Vail Christian was locked in as a team on Saturday. In the second game against La Veta, the Saints didn’t make it through their rotation one time. They had already won the game. Alexander said she didn’t remember her players only being behind the line for just one serve. It was a good day to have a good day.

Vail Christian also swept the floor nicely. Taylor Alexander, Celia Smith, Bella McCormick and Julia Vlaar combined for a whopping 63 digs during the two matches.

After the tournament, the volleyball team met up with Saints football in Buena Vista for a celebration.

Vail Christian will receive its seed on Monday for the state tournament. If ratings are to be believed, then the Saints are sitting in the No. 8 spot.

Football falls at Sargent

MONTE VISTA — Vail Christian 8-man football fell in the first round of the state playoffs at Sargent, 63-16, on Saturday.

Cole Caynoski and a Branden Currey pass to Max Schramm accounted for the Saints’ scores.

“They had great team speed,” Vail Christian coach Tim Pierson said. “They were well-coached, well-disciplined and a good football team. There were a lot of positives out of this season. The seniors showed outstanding leadership. I’m proud of them, though it’s a bittersweet ending.”

The Saints finished the year at 6-2.

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 and

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