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Castle View volleyball coach Scott Dowis was on the phone searching for an establishment in Castle Rock for his team to grab something to eat.
His team had just won the Region 3 tournament Nov. 4 at Castle View with 3-0 wins over Broomfield and Lakewood to earn a spot in the Nov. 10-11 Class 5A state tournament, which will be held at the Denver Coliseum.
Dowis hopes his team will be able to get together for another victory meal sometime after the state tournament in which four Continental League teams are among the 12 qualifiers, who will be divided into four, three-team pools to determine the semifinalists.
State seedings and pool pairings were announced Nov. 6. Last season's 5A finalists, state champion Fossil Ridge and runner-up Mountain Vista, are among the state-qualifying teams.
“The atmosphere of the regional will help prepare us for the state tournament,” Dowis said. “We were a little nervous at times and we didn't play our best. Playing in environments like this is definitely what helps us.
“To be honest our competition at practice has been at a high level. Sometimes our practices are more competitive than the matches we play in. We have a lot of maturity on our team. We have a lot of kids who play on a high level on club teams. The experience on our team is pretty deep.”
Castle View, with eight seniors among its 12 players, will be making its first state tournament appearance since 2013 and will bring a 21-4 record into the Coliseum.
“It was really important to win the region since we do have eight seniors on the team and going to state for all of them will make their last year special,” said senior setter Lauren Lowry. “All the teams at state are competitive and we played competitive teams today. Every team is going to player harder at state. Our league was pretty tough and to see all the teams again that we already played will be a good matchup.”
Castle View trailed in the first two sets against Broomfield but used six-point runs and went on to notch 25-22, 25-22 and 25-11 victories. The Sabercats lost four of their first six points on service errors in the first set against Lakewood, but used a couple more runs and played better to earn the state tournament ticket with 25-18, 25-21 and 25-8 wins.
Senior Kate Menz had a combined 24 kills and five aces in the two matches. Sophomore Leanne Lowry was credited with 42 digs and older sister Lauren had a combined 79 assists, or an average of 13.1 per set.
“We didn't play super great but we got it finished,” Lauren Lowry said.
Area teams that qualified for the state volleyball tournament that will be held Nov. 10-11 at the Denver Coliseum.
Mountain Vista (21-4), Castle View (21-4), Chaparral (20-5), Rock Canyon (18-7), Cherry Creek (23-2).
Valor Christian (20-5), Holy Family (23-2), D'Evelyn (21-4), Ponderosa (11-14).
Lutheran (22-3), Faith Christian (20-5).
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