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Palmer Ridge’s Madison Wilson, left, and Discovery Canyon’s Kiley West battle at the net during the Class 4A Colorado State Volleyball Championships on Nov. 11 at the Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs. Palmer Ridge won 3-1 to advance.

Madison Wilson wasn’t going to go down without getting her chance to make an impact.

Palmer Ridge fell to Cheyenne Mountain, 3-2, in the semifinals Nov. 13, ending its title defense. In the fifth set, Wilson was fed every set she could handle, nailing down multiple kills but falling just short.

The senior class included Wilson, who will head off to play for the University of Idaho. She led a class that fed off last year’s graduating players and continued the momentum.

At times, coach Erica Bradley wishes she had both together for this tournament, instead of losing some of the verbal leadership that was so potent in last year’s title run.

“It was a big learning experience, Cheyenne Mountain is a great team,” Bradley said. “Last year’s team, we had a handful of girls who had been there before. They didn’t step onto the big stage with any fear.

“In a sport like this, any ounce of fear can haunt you.”

The five sets marked the first time this year the Bears went past a fourth frame.

This year’s team had the talent and desire. Under the blaring lights of the Broadmoor World Arena, the task was simply too tough. The returning group will benefit from this year, and that’s what could help Bradley and company make another run.

Discovery Canyon was also victim to the Red-Tailed Hawks. It fell in the morning’s opening match in four sets.

Contact the writer: luke.zahlmann@gazette.com

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