While this week’s schedule does not include a match-up of the top two teams in the 1A Volleyball rankings like last week, there are plenty of appetizing contests slated. There is only one match pitting ranked foes, but many of the top 10 have outings where they could be pushed.
Top-ranked Kit Carson found itself in a rare hole last Friday, as the Wildcats trailed then #2 La Veta two sets to one. It was the first time Kit Carson had trailed in a match since the 2016 state finals, which the Wildcats lost to Fleming in three sets. Earlier that season, Kit Carson overcame 2-1 deficits against both McClave and Wiley in the regional round. On Friday, the Wildcats roared back to claim the victory 25-16 in the fourth and 15-7 in the fifth.
Tess Hornung led Kit Carson with 15 kills and 22 digs, while McKenzie Smith and Olivia Isenbart added 12 and 11 kills, respectively. Mercede Smith recorded 31 assists. Kaylee Corsentino paced La Veta with a game-high 24 kills and Desi Ortivez added a dozen. Nya Sciacca registered a team-best 17 digs, and Mary Goins tallied 34 assists.
The Wildcats face an unranked and unbeaten Springfield team on Thursday. The Longhorns picked up a nice four-set win over 2A Rocky Ford last Thursday, moving them to 2-0 on the season. Kit Carson won last year’s meeting in a sweep.
Otis climbed to #2 this week and the Bulldogs begin a busy stretch with a home tilt against #8 Genoa-Hugo on Friday. Saturday will see Otis participate in the NJC Tournament, with pool play matches against Nucla, Caliche, and Merino. The Bulldogs have been off since a 3-0 win over 2A Wray last Tuesday. Defense was very solid for Otis in that match, with six players recording at least eight digs. Riley Brandon was tops with 20.
Genoa-Hugo has split a couple four-setters to open the season, beating Cheyenne Wells last week and then falling to Stratton/Liberty on Tuesday. The Pirates lost a 21-13 advantage in game four to drop the match with the Knighted Eagles.
The Pirates also host 2A #9 Limon on Thursday, so Otis will be the much fresher team heading into their contest. It will be the first meeting between the two programs since Otis took a three set sweep in the 2015 regional round.
Third-ranked McClave’s 4-0 start includes three two-set sweeps last Saturday in the Cardinals’ home quad. The Cards put that unblemished mark on the line Thursday when they host Walsh. McClave has won three straight meetings with the Eagles, and 13 of the last 16 overall. The Cards have a big match next Tuesday, as they host Kit Carson.
Last week’s tough loss to Kit Carson dropped La Veta two spots this week, and the Redskins wasted no time in getting back in the win column. La Veta visited Mountain Valley/Moffat on Tuesday and claimed a sweep victory, allowing a total of 16 points in the match. All four of the wins this season by the Redskins have come in sweep fashion. They travel to Cotopaxi on Friday, looking to make it 14 straight wins over the Pirates.
One of last week’s top matches saw Briggsdale finally snap its long losing streak to Fleming, as the Falcons won a tough five-setter, 17-15 in the fifth. The win broke a 28-game skid for the Falcons in the rivalry, one that dated back to 2007. Briggsdale is now 5-0 and ranked fifth.
Coach Kelley Hale noted “we have a relatively young, new team this year after graduating seven seniors. We knew we had a tough first five games and the girls have come together and taken the challenge. The win over Fleming was huge for our program.”
With that monkey off their back, the Falcons will host fellow North Central League foes Peetz and Prairie on Thursday and Friday, respectively. Briggsdale has won seven straight against Peetz, but is just 10-10 since 2007. The Mustangs have had the upper hand against Briggsdale recently, winning the last two and 18 of 26.
Prairie suffered a big loss prior to the start of the season when returning all-state performer Hannah Kinnison went down with an ACL injury. The Mustangs are still off to a 2-1 start and they have a huge week ahead. Before they see Briggsdale on Friday, the Mustangs will visit #10 Weldon Valley. Both teams participated in the Brush tournament two weeks ago, but did not face each other. The Warriors have won the last three match-ups with Prairie, and 26 of the last 30.
Weldon Valley rebounded from a heart-breaking five set loss (18-16 in the fifth) to 2A Wiggins last Thursday in the River Rivalry to sweep Haxtun on Friday. Kirsten Wood, who missed the first four matches, is one of six players with at least 16 kills. Kaybree Keating leads the team with 73.
Fleming settled in at #6 this week, giving up two positions in the poll. The Wildcats have been off since the loss to Briggsdale and will see their first action in more than a week when they visit Peetz on Friday. Fleming’s winning streak over the Bulldogs is 28 consecutive, dating back to 2007.
The Wildcats will also participate in the Bishop Machebeuf Tournament, where they have been a fixture. Their pool on Saturday includes three 3A opponents: #7 Resurrection Christian, Manitou Springs (received votes), and Prospect Ridge. The other pool has the hosts, joined by Colorado Academy, St. Mary’s, and Elizabeth. Three of the four are 3A, with Elizabeth coming from 4A.
Seventh-ranked Dove Creek has rolled to a 6-1 record to start the season. The lone loss for the Bulldogs came in the finals of last week’s Gunnison Tournament. That was a 2-1 defeat at the hands of 3A Delta. Cassie Gatlin has been tough on opponents, pounding down 67 kills. The Bulldogs are off until next Tuesday’s home game with 2A Dolores.
Another team in the western part of the state grabbing early season attention is #9 De Beque. The Dragons were the lone team other than Kit Carson to garner a first place vote this week. Their mark now stands at 4-0 after Tuesday’s five-set victory over a tough 2A Paonia. The Dragons took the final set by an 18-16 count. They host 2A Soroco on Friday and visit Creede on Saturday.