With the win, the Thunderbirds captured one of eight automatic berths in the Class 1A state tournament, while Dove Creek was eliminated from contention despite its 16-7 record on the season.
Dove Creek’s loss to Sangre de Cristo followed a gutsy performance in the opening match of the Region E tournament, which saw the Bulldogs defeat Nucla, 23-25, 25-20, 25-22, 25-27, 15-9. The victory marked Dove Creek’s third over Nucla this season.
With its season now complete, Dove Creek will turn its attention to preparing underclassmen Breea Meyer, Madilyn Hankins, Cassie Gatlin, Jolena Spigner, Taylor Hickman and Grace Hatfield for next season.
While seniors Mikayla Hankins, Marissa Hatfield, Faith Johnson and Larissa Randolph will be sorely missed, the Bulldogs’ young core figures to render Dove Creek a force at the Class 1A level in the years to come.