CREEDE—Saturday morning as the bus trundled up the road leading from the Creede school and made its way into town, a line of cars fell in behind flashing lights and honking horns to send the Miners’ varsity volleyball team off to regionals with flare.
The team went up against some of the best teams in the region and by the end of the tournament, came in second for the regional conference. Several community members and parents took to social media to let the rest of the Valley know how proud they were of the team and how hard they fought to get to where they ended up.
The team began practice at the end of July, working day and night to prepare for the coming season which helped bring them to 17 wins before launching them into the regional competitions for the first time in 15 years. Athletic Director Jim Tillery described the season stating that the team worked very hard to get to regionals, “I was so glad to see the team play that well. We were so close to making the state championships and if it had been up to a person, rather than computer rankings, I think we would have made it.”
The regional games were played in La Veta this year, who was the top team in the state with an undefeated record. There were three teams vying for the top spot in the regional playoffs between La Veta, Creede and DeBeque. The girls played in a “red robin” game against the other two school, coming in 1-1 while La Veta finished 2-0 and DeBeque 0-2. The final decision to make state came down to the RPI rankings, where the girls barely missed a wild card invitation by mere points.
The RPI (Rating Percentage Index) is a measure of strength of schedule and how a team does against that schedule. Created in 1981, the RPI is a tool used in selecting and seeding of the eight teams that went to state from the region. There were an additional four teams that received a wild card invitation based on their RPIs.
The team is coached by Melanie Freedle as head coach and Katie Elkins as assistant coach. The community of Creede expressed how proud they are of the volleyball teams this year, who have had the best season in several years. “It was very exciting to see this unfold and we are so proud of the girls for their efforts,” said Tillery.
The varsity team now joins their fellow middle school players in second place in the district for the season. “We are going to give them a few days rest and then we start basketball on Friday,” finished Tillery. Congratulations, Miners!