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KOAA Athletes of the Week: Rampart Rams volleyball

KOAA Athlete of the Week: Rampart Rams volleyball
Posted at 12:00 AM, Nov 10, 2021

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It's a big week for prep sports in Colorado Springs.

Two state titles will be held in Colorado Springs with state boys' soccer at Weidner Field & girls' volleyball at Broadmoor World Arena.

And speaking of volleyball, one local team is looking to defend their state title.

"We want to show people how good we are even though we lost people from last year," explained sophomore setter Izzy Stark, the younger sister of Anjelina Starck, the Colorado Gatorade player of the year from last season. "We want to prove we are good enough and good enough to win state again."

It might be the shortest title defense in CHSAA volleyball state history, but this week, the Rampart Rams will look to defend their 5A state title with a brand new team

"The way we come together - it's just different from last year," said senior Hadleigh Richardson. "It feels like last year was very put together, very constructed. This year, we had to like learn how to work together differently than we did last year."

Gone are the days of two Division I volleyball players on one team in Stark (Penn State) and Riley Simpson (Baylor). This year's Ram squad had to figure out a new formula of winning, which - in turn - caused some growing pains

"So when we play loose we play super well, but we play tense and all mad at each other, we don't talk on the court," explained Richardson. "We just lose it."

"I think it's good that we lost the games that we did," added Starck. "We learned who we need, who struggles in what position and kind of learning from those losses."

And those lessons learned all came together three weeks ago in a tournament at Cheyenne Mountain. Since then, Rampart has run over opponents, proving once again they are a force to be reckoned with.

"I feel like I play better with a target on my back," Starck said. "I feel like people are out for us and want to beat us"

Because if the Rams play to their potential, another state title volleyball trophy could be coming to the north side of Colorado Springs.

"I think we have the tools," concluded Starck. "I think we have the diversity this year. We are really trying to prove to everyone we are a team to look out for and a team to be scared of I guess."