DENVER – At 28-0 with only five sets lost coming into the state title game, there have been very few moments where the Valor Christian volleyball hasn’t been in control of a match. For mostly better and occasionally worse, the Eagles have controlled their own fate, and that continued during the Class 5A state championship match Saturday night at the Denver Coliseum.

Top-seeded Valor Christian alternated between domination and struggle, but eventually defeated No. 7 Fossil Ridge 21-25, 25-16, 25-13, 19-25, 15-12. The victory pushes the Eagles’ incredible two-year winning streak to 58 matches, which is tied for eighth-most all-time with Olathe (1991-92) and Chaparral (2010-12).

Of those five sets lost, four came against Legend, who the Eagles defeated 25-14, 22-25, 21-25, 25-17, 15-6 in the semifinals earlier in the day. The Titans pushed the Eagles to five sets on Sept. 7 as well. Otherwise, Valor Christian competed 25 sweeps heading into the title match.

After Fossil Ridge took the first set, Eagles coach Jayne McHugh said she was confident in her team’s ability to bounce back.

“This is a team where you don’t have to worry about their fight,” the coach said. “They’re going to fight and they’re going to battle. If we end up on top, that’s great, and we’ve done that a lot, I guess, in the last two years. They just love the battle.”

The first 13 points of the match came off either a kill, attacking error or block by Valor Christian, giving the Eagles an 8-5 lead before a kill attempt from Fossil Ridge sailed long. The rally included a thunderous cross-court spike by Kenzey McGatlin, a couple blocks from Grace Langer and several attacking errors that allowed the Sabercats to keep it close. That morphed into an 18-18 tie, then a 24-19 lead for Fossil Ridge before the Sabercats put the set away.

From there, Fossil Ridge middle hitter Delaney Ewing cut Valor’s second-set lead to 12-10 on a string of stellar kills, but the Eagles went 13-6 the rest of the way to knot it 1-1.

The third set was highlighted by a kill from Delaney Russell that fell perfectly between three diving Fossil Ridge players, one of many successes before the Sabercats slightly slowed the momentum in the fourth set, where they eventually held a 19-11 lead on strong hitting from Alyssa Cottingham, Erin Herrmann and Kaylee Piepho, enough to force a fifth set.

Russell, Valor’s captain, said Fossil Ridge’s middles were breaking through the Eagles’ blocking in the fourth set, but adjustments in various timeouts helped swing the matchups into Valor’s favor.

“We made that fix,” Russell said, smiling. “It kind of turn the game around for us.”

Fossil Ridge took an early lead in the fifth set before Russell’s hitting cut into the advantage. Valor Christian tied it 12-12 before a pair of kills from Farrah Eike and a net violation from the Sabercats put the game on ice.

“It’s pretty rewarding,” Russell said. “We’ve put in some serious work in this year busting our butts every single day in practice and just loving on each other as much as we can. I think that was just a perfect representation of that in that game, and we closed it out with a win.”

The Eagles are one of eight volleyball teams in state history to complete at least two consecutive undefeated seasons.

“You start the season in August and you build a group of people who truly love each other, who are so darn unselfish, and the results kind of take care of themselves.” McHugh said. “That’s what we sought out to do on Aug. 7, the first day of try outs, and, woo, they did it.”