The season ended last weekend for the Chadron State volleyball team, but not before considerable progress had been made this season, coach Riann Mullis believes.
Both Colorado Christian, which finished its RMAC schedule at 14-4 in fourth place in the final standings, and Colorado Mines, which lost just one of its 18 conference matches to share the championship, defeated the Eagles on their home courts.
It is the fifth time in the last six years that Mines has won or shared the RMAC title.
Christian prevailed 25-21, 25-21, 25-15 and Mines won 25-15, 25-23, 25-10. The setbacks prevented the Eagles from advancing to the conference playoffs this week. A victory in either match would have allowed CSC to garner the No. 8 seed ahead of Black Hills State, which the Eagles defeated both times they met this fall.
CSC wraps up its season 10-16 overall and 7-10 in the RMAC.
It’s the first time the Eagles have won 10 matches in 11 seasons.
While the Eagles improved, the teams in the conference’s upper echelon frequently outhit and outblocked them. CSC hit just .074 percent against the Christian Cougars and .037 versus the Orediggers. Christian hit .234 and the Mines .290.
But Mullis believes her team is on the right track. This year’s team has just two seniors—front row standout Gaby Varela and libero Emily Bruce. The coach has nominated both for all-conference consideration.
All the remaining players on this year’s team are due to return, including seven juniors. Mullis also noted this week that she has signed three high school seniors, a libero and two front row players, to help the Eagles next season. The coach said she hopes to add a couple of community college players to the mix.
Former Chadron High standout Chandler Hageman also will be eligible next season after she redshirted this fall. Mullis said Hageman will be a big plus because of her athleticism and work ethic.