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Allen, Oliveira help Cowboys earn redemption, Warrior Classic title

Outside hitter Jaeda Allen and setter Katie Oliveira shared the same intentions heading into the final match of the Warrior Classic girls volleyball tournament Saturday at Western.   

The Chaparral seniors, who have been playing together since their freshman year, coveted both a championship trophy and a shot at redemption in their final go-around.

“This was our first time being in a championship environment,” Allen said. “We were trying to get used to it. We’re family and we all have the same goal.”

Both objectives were accomplished. The Cowboys swept Legacy, 25-13, 25-15, to take home the tournament title.

Chaparral avenged a 25-16, 25-19 loss to the Longhorns in morning pool play.   

“The pressure was on in the final,” said Oliveira, who had 10 assists, two aces and one kill. “We didn’t play like we know we can (in the morning match). We had to show them. We couldn’t just leave with them knowing how bad we played.”

Chaparral (16-9) defeated Clark in three sets and Agassi Prep in two, before dropping the match to the Longhorns.

“We decided to play in the final,” Chaparral coach Jay Renneker said. “The first time we played Legacy, we didn’t play. They were serving tough. We had already won two straight matches. We relaxed a little and it hurt us. They’re a good team and they put it on us.”

After Legacy (11-9) jumped out to an early 4-1 lead in the first set, Allen sparked the Cowboys’ offensive attack with a pair of kills, eventually tying the set at nine. Chaparral’s front row and servers then sparked a pair of lengthy runs.

“We definitely worked toward our mistakes,” Oliveira said. “We would make a mistake and act fast on it. There were some moments when we were kind of antsy and we didn’t know how to deal with the pressure. But then again, we came back and we fought through it.”

Senior Cheyenne Huntsman served up an ace to clinch the first set.

In the second set, Chaparral used a 15-5 run to pull away from a 10-10 tie. Allen registered four kills in the run.

Fittingly, Oilveira set a flawless ball in the final rally to Allen, who viciously spiked it past Legacy’s front row to seal the win and the championship.

“Jaeda is a great athlete,” Renneker said of Allen, who contributed nine kills and two aces. “She wants to be the best hitter in the state. She has a lot of technical skill and when she goes to attack a ball, she does exactly what I would do if I were attacking. She has a good volleyball brain and she’s willing to put the work in.”

Legacy defeated Agassi Prep in two sets and Clark in three, before defeating Chaparral in the pool play finale. The Longhorns entered the tournament’s final after sweeping Canyon Springs (25-18. 25-16) in the semifinal. 

Junior setter Emily Valerio had five assists for Legacy and senior Quortney Baker-Judie added three kills.

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