The two-time state champion varsity volleyball team from LHSP won its second title on November 10 at the Denver Coliseum. Pictured from left to right, back row: Alison Kjergaard, Chandler Sturms, Madi Arnell, Nikki Ball, Laura Beach, Michelle Cattau, Whitney Dettmering, Connie Olson and Jordyn Sturms; front row, left to right: Sarah Mayhall, Michala Saenz, Ally Kvachkoff.
By Kathy Dunker; photos courtesy of the Olson family
The Lutheran High School Parker (LHSP) Lions girls varsity volleyball team clinched the 2A Division State Championships on November 9-10 at the Denver Coliseum for the second year running. Under the leadership of Coach Alicia Oates, the team had a 28-0 undefeated season and has won an impressive 40 consecutive games with their last loss being October, 2011.
The team consists of the following players: freshman Madi Arnell; sophomore Chandler Sturms; juniors Connie Olson (CP resident) and Nikkie Ball; and seniors Jordyn Sturms, Laura Beach, Sarah Mayhall, Whitney Dettmering, Michala Saenz, Michelle Cattau, Ali Kjergaard, and Ally Kvachkoff. Beach recently signed a full-ride volleyball scholarship to the University of Wyoming.
The Lions took on and beat Telluride 3-0, Resurrection Christian 3-0, Akron 3-0, and Simla 3-1. Castle Pines resident Olson made the game winning kill (spike) against Simla, which gave the team back-to-back state championship titles. Olson also led the season with 67 aces, 275 digs, and 297 kills. Olson, who also plays high school soccer, is getting the attention of college recruiters, even as a junior.
Castle Pines resident, junior Connie Olson, pictured here with her two state championship trophies. Olson led the varsity season with 67 aces, 275 digs, and 297 kills. Olson was voted last month to first team All Conference for the Metro League as well as to the 2A All State Team.
Olson started playing volleyball at the age of seven through Douglas County Dolphins and currently plays club volleyball for Momentum in addition to the high school team. Olson remarked about LHSP, "Our team at Lutheran is amazing, and we have such a sisterhood between us! Our coaches are not only the best coaches I have ever had, but also great mentors. This year's word was 'focus' and our theme was 'refuse to lose' and that's what we did. We focused on God and on each other, and we came out on top again!"
Coach Oates commented about the season, "These girls are a very mentally tough team who just refused to lose. Even when we struggled, the girls pushed through and found a way to get the job done. They were relaxed, yet focused throughout the season and the state tournament. We have a lot of individual talent, but the reason we were strong was because of how we came together."