It took 11 years for Susan Odenbaugh and her Lewis-Palmer Rangers to finally lift the golden volleyball again.
Looking back, the longtime coach pointed to a low moment that perhaps righted the ship.
"When you look at the success we've had at L-P, sometimes you take things for granted," said Odenbaugh, who last led her team to a state title in 2002 after serving as an assistant on the 1993 and 2001 championship teams. "When we didn't go to state in 2010, that really put things in perspective for me. It made me know I needed to work harder as a coach."
By 2012, the Rangers had returned to the 4A state championship game, only to fall short to Cheyenne Mountain. One year later, Lewis-Palmer completed the journey, sweeping Air Academy in the title match Nov. 9 while dropping just one set against four opponents at the Denver Coliseum.
"We had just an amazing season," Odenbaugh said. "We had a team motto of unity, and that was one of the things they wanted to have on their state rings. They realized they accomplished what they did because they were a strong team, not because of any one individual."