The Warriors varsity volleyball team returns the ball to the awaiting Bruins team on the other side of the net at a Centennial League game Sept. 28. Photos by Tom Barry
By Tom Barry
On a Sept. 28, more than 200 supporters showed up at Arapahoe High School to watch girl’s volleyball last week. Inside a toasty warm gym, the stage was being set to watch the Warriors take on Cherry Creek, the state’s second rated varsity team.
Arapahoe had six players that stood taller than 6-feet-tall, while Creek had only three girls to reach that height.
In a uniformed protocol, the teams came onto the court for the anticipated match. These Centennial League competitors volleyed hard in the first two matches. Creek persevered to take the first game 25–22 in a challenging match.
On a number of occasions Sally Moos, Creek’s veteran coach for more than 30 years, expressed frustration with what she deemed questionable calls by the officials.
Arapahoe’s head volleyball coach Cara Jansen Syers greets a Creek player prior to the first game. Her team provided the Bruins a challenge in the first two games of the match.
The second game belonged to the Arapahoe girls, who took advantage of mistakes and missed shots from the Bruins winning the match 25-16.
In a break before the third game, the Arapahoe poms team put on a fun and artful show to upbeat music with spins and acrobatic moves leading to the finale where they simultaneously did the splits.
In the remaining two games Creek dominated the net and handily beat the Warriors taking three of the four games.
The high point scorers serving for Creek were Allie Fowler with 14, Sarah Hellman with 9 and Lauren Marr with five.
The best “diggers” – going under the ball either passing or spiking back – for Arapahoe included Whitney Krantz with 16 digs, Meredith Coder with 14 and Isabel Kovacic with 11.
At the end of the game, both teams and coaches strolled alongside the net shaking one another’s hands.
“Our team played well at points and that is when we won,” said Warrior coach Cara Jansen Syers. “Against a team like Creek that is the difference between a win and a loss. “We would like to have a few more wins but we also recognize that the teams we are playing are some of the best in the state.”
Both on and off the court, Syers keeps incredibly busy teaching biology and physiology at Arapahoe. Along with her school duties, Syers and her husband Wes are raising three young children.
Syers, a ’95 graduate and salutatorian of Denver Christian High School, attended Calvin College in Michigan where her parents and brother also attended. Syers played soccer and basketball at this Division 3 school while on an academic scholarship.
Warriors, No 5 Lexi Mercier and No. 13 Isabel Kovacic, spring up attempting to return a hard return from Creek’s No. 11 Lauren Marr.
“When I was growing up, my parents came to all of our games,” Syers said.
Her brother Brad also teaches PE and coaches football and basketball at Arapahoe.
Her parents Bruce and Barb are actively involved and attend nearly every game of hers and her brother’s. After watching volleyball, Syers parents then headed cross-town to watch the Arapahoe football game in Jeffco.
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