Many of week four’s top match-ups are already in the books, having taken place on Tuesday. However, a number of good contests are still to be played.
Before moving forward, a quick glance back is in order. Top-ranked Kit Carson won a fight with #5 McClave, sweeping the Cardinals on Tuesday. It was the 32nd straight win for the Wildcats dating back to the start of last season, and their 105th win in the last 109 tries. The Wildcats will visit Eads for a High Plains League match on Friday.
Tenth-ranked Dove Creek faced 2A Dolores on Tuesday, looking to bounce back from its only loss of the season 10 days earlier, and Merino also challenged a 2A opponent, seeing Holyoke for the second time in a matter of days. Results of those matches were not reported.
La Veta (#2) has won two straight since a loss to Kit Carson. The last of those wins came against a Cotopaxi squad that was in the group of teams receiving votes this week. The Redskins allowed 17, 13, and 19 points in the sweep win over the Pirates. This weekend, Amber Huff’s unit faces a 3-1 Creede on Friday and then visits 2A #4 Swink on Saturday. Creede suffered its first defeat of the season last Saturday, 3-0 to De Beque.
One of the big climbers this week is Briggsdale, as the Falcons moved up two spots to #3 following league wins over Peetz and Prairie. They swept both of those matches, their first sweeps of the season. Kimberlyn Krise leads the Falcons with 114 kills, a tally that is second in the classification. Briggsdale is home for three of its next four matches, including affairs with Idalia on Friday and Caliche on Saturday.
Despite a 5-0 week that included the championship of the NJC Spectacular, Otis slipped two spots to #4 this week. The Bulldogs are 7-0 heading into Friday’s road trip at #9 Flagler/Hi-Plains, having lost just one set to date. That came last Friday in a four-set victory over formerly eighth-ranked Genoa-Hugo. The championship at NJC included a 3-0 win over 2A #10 Akron. Those two could potentially meet again next weekend in Akron’s tournament.
Fifth-ranked McClave has started moving the wrong way in the polls. A loss last week to Walsh, one of the teams just outside of the top-10, cost the Cardinals two spots this week. That loss came in five sets. Add in Tuesday’s loss to Kit Carson in three sets and McClave could tumble again this week. The Cards have a chance to end their skid at two when they host Wiley on Friday. Saturday, they will participate in the Hi-Plains Black and Blue Classic.
Fleming (#6) had a losing record last week (2-3) but the voters took into account the caliber of the opponents. All three losses were in the Machebeuf tournament against 3A teams that are just outside of the top-10 this week (Manitou Springs, St. Mary’s, Resurrection Christian). The Wildcats will see some familiar faces this week, visiting Caliche on Thursday and then hosting North Central League rival Weldon Valley (#7) on Friday.
Weldon Valley has recorded three straight sweep victories including one on Tuesday against Peetz. The next two outings for the Warriors will be against ranked opponents, starting with the trip to Fleming. Over the last decade, Fleming is the one NCL team that owns a winning record over Weldon Valley (31-8). The Wildcats own wins in the last four meetings.
Even though they are unbeaten, the eighth-ranked De Beque Dragons are still struggling to gain statewide recognition. The Dragons play a schedule that is loaded with 2A opponents, and they have gone 5-0 against them so far. They visit Ouray on Saturday, for one of their rare 1A contests.
The young roster for Flagler/Hi-Plains has gotten off to a 2-0 start, earning the #9 ranking this week. With just one senior and one junior on the squad, the Thunder leans heavily on a very good sophomore class. They see a rise in the level of competition with the home match-up against Otis on Friday.
It’s homecoming week for Dove Creek and the Bulldogs will wrap things up on Friday by hosting Norwood. The Bulldogs snapped a seven-match losing skid against the Mavericks last year and they could begin a winning streak as the Mavs are off to a 1-6 start.