Sloan Lovett and Katherine Rifilato, friends since childhood, recently shared a unique volleyball honor.
The two high school seniors were named to The Denver Post all-state volleyball teams for their respective high schools.
Lovett, a senior at Durango High School, was named to the Class 4A All-State First Team by the Denver newspaper.
Rifilato, a senior at Bayfield High School, was named to the Class 3A All-State First Team.
Both Lovett and Rifilato and their teams qualified for the CHSAA Volleyball State Championships at the Denver Coliseum this year.
Lovett, one of the top outside hitters in the state, has signed to play college volleyball at Sacramento State next season.
Rifilato is entertaining college offers for next year.
In Class 4A, Lovett was joined on the first team by Jenae Vander Ploeg of Cheyenne Mountain, a senior and the Class 4A player of the year. Vander Ploeg has signed to play at Northern Arizona. She and Lovett will play against each other next year in the Big Sky Conference.
Other 4A all-state first-teamers included senior Jaime Colaizzi and junior Angie Pancost, both of Windsor, junior Monique Domme of Cheyenne Mountain, senior Erin Seele of Roosevelt and freshman Alexa Smith of Lewis-Palmer.
The all-state second team included two Western Slope players seniors Alex Lassa of Eagle Valley and Audrey Steinkirchner of Palisade.
In Class 3A, Rifilato was joined by a host of familiar names from the state championships.
The Class 3A First Team featured senior Kendra Cunningham and freshman Kortney Lockey of state champion Eaton, senior Holly Hardcastle of Faith Christian, senior Meagan Garcia of Valley, senior Katie Reininger of Classical Academy and senior Maggie Sherrill of Colorado Academy.
Cunningham also was voted the player of the year in Class 3A. Her coach, Gwen Forster, was named the 3A coach of the year.
In Class 2A, senior Aimee Johnson of Mancos was named to The Denver Post All-State First Team this season. She led the Bluejays back to the state championships in 2011.
Emily Langley, who helped Telluride advance to the state tournament, was voted all-state second team.
Rifilato also was one of nine Colorado players nominated for the ESPN Gatorade Player of the Year this year. It marked the first time a Bayfield player was nominated for the ESPN Gatorade award.
Nicole Dalton of undefeated Class 5A state champion Chaparral, the consensus player of the year in Colorado, won the ESPN Gatorade honor. Dalton has signed to play at the University of Texas next year.