The superlatives coach Trevor Creighton is spewing about his Club Rim Pink volleyball team would render celebrity sportscaster Howard Cosell proud.
The coach is churning out Cosell-like "tell it like it is" vivid descriptions such as deadly serving and hitting, consistent play, high level of maturity, a special group of girls and formidable hitters to describe his team of middle-school-aged players.
The team, he said, "has proven itself as a top contender in the statewide club volleyball division." In club action, the Payson-based team has placed third or better in the first four tournaments of the year. Currently CRP is ranked sixth among 68 teams.
"This ranking puts them in the top division in the state," Creighton said.
The team will have the opportunity to improve on that ranking when it travels tomorrow, Saturday, to the Valley to challenge the top five teams in Arizona.
Among the strengths of the team this season is their proficient serving.
"As a team, the girls are serving above 85 percent, which means they have very few service errors," Creighton said. "A few of the girls have perfected the floater serve, which moves around unpredictably -- that skill is usually not seen until later in high school."
Another strength of the team is its focus.
"The girls just don't get rattled in tough situations, they find ways to win," Creighton said.
At the net, middle hitters Kaitlin Curtis and Jaymi Carlen lead CRP.
"They know how to put the ball away and are also becoming very effective blockers," Creighton said.
Also holding down a spot at the net is RCMS seventh-grader Morgan Chilson, the daughter of former Longhorn all-star football player and track speedster Ty Chilson.
"Even though it's a new position, she is making positive contributions," Creighton said.
The team's top server is setter Rachel Creighton, the coach's daughter.
"This season, 79 of her 178 have been aces," coach Creighton said.
Also playing setter for the girls in pink are Megan Crom-Burris and Lauren Galhotra.
"They provide solid play game after game," Creighton said.
Kyleah Morgan, Natalie Black, Jordyn Fruth and Nicole Hawley hold down the outside hitter positions,
Morgan, Creighton says, "plays at a level not expected from a seventh-grader."
Black, Fruth and Hawley, "create points by their hitting and their firm defense in the back row," Creighton said.
Creighton also cited the play of back row specialist Melissa Hill as crucial to team success. Among the setbacks the team has had to deal with this year is the loss of Kayla Woolwine who has been sidelined with a broken ankle suffered while playing basketball for RCMS.
Creighton is sure the team's stellar performance this season bodes well for the future of the Lady Longhorn program.
"We are excited to see these fantastic players continue to develop this season and next year as freshmen," he said.