Every Cinderella story must come to an end.
For the Pueblo South Colts boys’ volleyball team, the clock struck midnight on their historic season as they fell in the regional round of the Class 4A boys' volleyball tournament to defending Class 5A champions Douglas County Huskies (25-18), (25-23), (25-17).
The Colts accomplished a lot this season as far as the big picture goes.
They successfully finished with a winning record (19-5) and also made the postseason for the first time in program history. The team, unfortunately, ran into the Huskies, the defending champs. Although the championship was in a different class, Douglas County returned the majority of the team from last year.
Despite that, the Colts actually took the lead early on, often a rarity for the team this season. It put them in a good spot to possibly steal an early set and the momentum.
But the Huskies battled back and went on a run in the first set to stretch the lead to almost 7 points. The Colts cut it down to four at one point but the Huskies pulled away in the first set and won 25-18.
“This season, we've always started off slow,” Jordan Rittgers said. “So, today's game was definitely a different momentum and starting off up and kind of going out, it was really different for us but we played all through it. Once you find out how good their defense was and how well they know how to play against us and hit certain spots, I'd say that's really where they won it over us.”
The second set didn't start as well for the Colts. But the Colts are used to this type of game. All season long, they faced themselves in deficits and had found ways to claw out of it.
Once again down by 7 points, the Colts found themselves on the verge of being in a massive hole if they were to drop the second set. They battled their way back all the way to a tie at 21-21.
But there were a few mistakes in communication, and the ball slipped through for the Huskies for a 25-23 win.
“Although we were behind, I think all of our team picked it up a little bit,” Jack Beltran said. “Then as we saw that we could score against them and our team could play against them, I think that's what gave us the momentum to keep going. It was so neck and neck that we saw we had the potential and just kind of fell out of our hands.”
It was at this point the Huskies started to attack a certain zone that was giving the Colts fits all game. They couldn’t protect that area of the court for the majority of the third and final set and the Huskies took advantage. They made quick work of the third set and sent the Colts home packing 25-17 to end their magical season.
The Colts have a lot to look forward to in the coming years, Coach Sarah Gallo Sanchez knows that the seniors and leaders on this team have set the path for the future athletes that join this team.
“We started off strong and you know, and I'm just so glad this team would come in here and they worked hard,” Gallo Sanchez said. “They didn't just come and just get creamed. They came and they competed this year. I mean, I was really proud of them,”
The Colts are losing two starters this year with seniors Beltran and Rittgers both graduating. But the core of the group is still intact and will look to make progress next season.
“I'm very proud of this group,” Gallo Sanchez said. “I think they all gave it their all, gave it their whole heart all year and I think that they're also very excited to start a new year, you know. We're not losing too many.”
Christopher Abdelmalek is a sports reporter for the Pueblo Chieftain and can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @chowebacca
This article originally appeared on The Pueblo Chieftain: Pueblo South boys volleyball team loses in 1st round of CHSAA playoffs