Girls Volleyball Wins 6th State Title, First Since 2008

Coach and top players from state go over the expectations after a dominant regular season, obstacles during state, and what it took to ultimately capture the state title.


Raegan Knobbe

Creek volleyball players celebrate their state championship win. It was their first since 2008.

Adam Nowlin, Assistant Sports Editor

2020 provided an unplanned ending to the season. COVID restrictions caused the team to not be as prepared as they had strived for, losing in round one last year to Columbine after winning the 5A division.

This year, nothing, not even COVID, was going to get in their way.

On Saturday, Nov. 13, #1 ranked Creek won the finals against #3 Grandview as they took the best of 5, 3 sets to 1 to clinch their first title in 13 years.The first two sets between these two teams were hard fought, both of which went to extras where a team had to win by two in order to pull it out. Creek took the first 27-25 and lost a close one 28-26 before knocking the energy out of Grandview, taking the third and fourth sets with ease by scores of 25-17 and 25-14. 

With Creek finishing the season atop the 5A division with a 20-1 record, Coach Steve Huntingdale knew that they were big favorites to win it all, but also knew that their success in the regular season had to carry over and that keeping the momentum and success was priority number one for the team.

“All season we just looked at every match as preparation for state,” Huntingdale said. “We knew to beat certain teams we had to play a certain way. And so by the time playoffs came, we were in a really good place in terms of style of play.”

Senior Minnesota signee Carter Booth was a big factor in the championship run. Booth led the team in kills and blocks, putting up 264 kills and 102 total blocks. While Booth remained an important presence for the team, she was not the only one who put up a great performance.

Senior Rylan Pollard, who led the team with 45 serving aces, understood the daunting task that was set for the team, making sure to establish the “grind” to get the team prepared, something they were able to do as the regular season came to a close

“We really had to grind in and out of practice” Pollard said, “We also went to the weight room a lot, especially during the end of the season when we needed it most”

The grind for the team proved to be absolutely necessary, especially for players that were going through more obstacles than anticipated.

The efforts and performance of Junior setter Anna Van Wyk cannot go unnoticed either, as she had 528 assists , which led the team. What’s even more impressive is that she managed to do this through a hurt ankle.

“I landed on Carter in the very first game onThursday, so that was unfortunate. But I played through it” Van Wyk said. “It hurt the worst on Friday but I got it all taped up and did a good job of icing it. On Saturday it had healed a little more but at that point the adrenaline kicked in and I just didn’t feel the pain anymore…I just had to push through it no matter what.”

The players can still vividly picture themselves celebrating after getting the final point of the final set.

Senior libero Natalia Landry still has the feeling of elation after the final point, rightfully so as she led the team with 182 digs throughout State and was a huge part of the success.

“The adrenaline rush and realization and just knowing we were state champions…” Landry said. “Being on top of the pile…I didn’t feel anything but pure happiness with my team” 

Coach Huntingdale expressed the importance of the efforts of not just certain players but every player that suited up in these important games.

“We had 15 kids that really got after it and that helped create the level of play that we needed to defeat the top teams in the state,” Huntingdale said. “And I would be remiss to not mention that every kid, all 15 players, were there working every day in the gym. Everybody working hard, performing, and putting pressure on each other…It was a key factor in our success.”

Now that the season has concluded, the team is celebrating their huge accomplishment. And this celebration hasn’t just extended towards the players. 

After a long season of cheering in the stands and supporting the team, the parents were able to get in on some of the fun.

“On the same night, the Landry’s hosted a get-together at their place and it was a lot of fun,” Pollard said. “I’m pretty sure there were parents drinking and celebrating until 4 AM”