Thompson Valley fends off Windsor to claim second straight crown – The Denver Post


All teams like to win. The Thompson Valley High School girls volleyball team hates to lose.

Seriously, ask ahead coach Lester Thorne. What his team managed to achieve in the third and ultimately deciding set in the Class 4A girls final Saturday night at the Denver Coliseum attests to that.

Trailing 16-10 to Windsor after taking the opening two sets, Thorne’s team didn’t panic. They rallied. The Eagles (27-2) stormed back with eight consecutive points and went on to close out the game for a second consecutive Class 4A title. The scores were 25-23, 25-20 and 25-21.

“They are so battle-worn and have been through a lot of games like tonight,” Thorne said. “The winning is always great, but they hate to lose more than they ever like winning. That keeps us focused when we were down and mostly what I tell them when they are in those situations is, ‘Stay calm, get back to playing our game and go one point at a time.’”

The Eagles have five seniors and none of them exemplified the fight more than middle hitter Zoe Rollins. She wheeled onto the court in the madhouse celebrations afterwards. The senior middle blocker was partially paralyzed in a single-car accident in 2021, but was still determined to be a part of the program. On senior day, with assistance from a parent, she successfully served the ball over the net.

From her senior day serve, she’s seen how the Eagles can also fight for one another during matches, as proved by their flawless state tournament in which they never lost a set. Their only losses this season came against 5A opposition.

“With our team, we’ve all known one another since we were little and we’ve been so close,” Rollins said. “I think everyone got a little nervous and played a little frantic, but everyone in their head knew we would pull through eventually. Because we always do, no matter what.”


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