Another poll has been released and the top two teams continue to be Kit Carson and Fleming. However, losses by Holly, McClave, Flagler/Hi-Plains and Belleview Christian created quite a bit of movement behind those two squads of Wildcats.
Through their first 12 matches, top-ranked Kit Carson (12-0) sweeping opponents has been as regular as the sun rising in the east. The Wildcats visited #9 Flagler/Hi-Plains (6-4) last Friday and they limited their hosts to just 31 points in the match. Tess Hornung led everyone with 10 kills in the contest, while Reyna Isenbart put down eight kills in the victory.
After visiting 2A Limon (5-7) on Thursday, Kit Carson will participate in the Stratton Volleyball Bash on Saturday. The Wildcats will compete in a pool with Lone Star (1-9) and 2A Burlington (7-4). They already own a 3-0 victory over Burlington. The other pool will have Stratton/Liberty (7-3), Flagler/Hi-Plains, and 2A Merino (4-6).
Since losing to Machebeuf in pool play a month ago, #2 Fleming (12-1) has been just as dominant as Kit Carson. The Wildcats have rolled their last six opponents in just 17 sets. Last week, that included sweeps over Pawnee (1-12) and Weldon Valley (6-6). Doug Kamery’s squad can wrap up the North Central League and the #1 seed for the district tournament on Friday, but they need to defeat #5 Briggsdale (11-2) on the Falcons’ home court.
Fleming handed Briggsdale one of its two losses, sweeping the Falcons in three competitive sets last month. Before they get to the rematch, the Wildcats visit 2A #10 Haxtun (9-2) on Thursday. Fleming has not lost a set against the Bulldogs in their last seven matches.
One week after dropping two spots, La Veta (11-0) returns to the #3 spot in the rankings. The Redskins have dropped the second fewest sets in the classification, as they surrendered just their second of the season in defeating Cotopaxi (7-5) last Friday. Kaylee Corsentino pounded 14 kills in that victory, only four fewer than the Pirates accumulated as a team. The junior followed that up with eight more on Saturday in a sweep over Springfield (4-6). The Longhorns are the only other team to take a set from the Redskins.
This week sees La Veta on the road, visiting Sierra Grande (4-7) on Friday, and then competing in the McClave tournament the following day. The Redskins will open bracket play against Granada (1-6) with a possible match-up against the hosts in the second round.
Holly (10-2) slipped one spot this week to #4 following its four-set loss to #6 Wiley (10-2). The Wildcats won the opener of that match last Friday, but the Panthers came back to take the next three, including the final set by a 25-23 score. Kallie Cathcart led all players with 13 kills in the loss, while Shayla Brown had 11 kills to lead Wiley. The two teams have split the regular season series, with the Wildcats winning the earlier meeting in five sets.
The Wildcats bounced back the following day by downing Walsh (3-6) in three tough sets. Holly outscored the Eagles 75-65 in the match. This week, the Wildcats visit Springfield on Friday and then travel to McClave on Saturday for tournament action. Holly will square off with Manzanola (3-9) to open the event and will see either Kim/Branson (6-6) or Walsh in the next round.
Briggsdale has a big contest ahead of Friday’s clash with Fleming, as the Falcons host Weldon Valley in league play. For the match with the Wildcats to have a share of the league lead on the line, the Falcons must complete the regular season sweep of the Warriors. Briggsdale took a four-set victory over Weldon Valley on the road a few weeks back, giving them just their third win over the Warriors in the last 22 outings.
The Falcons will roll into that match on Thursday having put six straight in the win column. That includes a sweep over Peetz last week. Briggsdale held the Bulldogs to a total of 20 points in the three sets.
A perfect 3-0 week sent Wiley up to its highest ranking of the season, with the Panthers up three spots to #6. Prior to the upset of Holly, the Panthers swept Granada, with five players recording multiple kills, led by Faith Dellamaestra with five.
The day after picking up their biggest win of the season against Holly, the Panthers struggled with Kim/Branson. The Mustangs pushed Wiley to the limit before falling in five sets. Shayla Brown (17) and Dellamaestra (15) combined for 32 kills in the win. Wiley’s only action this week is a home meeting with Walsh on Thursday.
McClave (8-2) suffered its second loss in less than a week when the Cardinals were tripped up by Cheyenne Wells (7-5) last Tuesday. The Tigers won a tough five-setter over the Cards, who fell three spots to #7 this week. After winning the first set 25-20, McClave saw Cheyenne Wells take the next two by scores of 25-18 and 28-16. The Cards rallied to force a fifth set with a 25-23 win in the fourth, but the Tigers picked up the upset with a 15-13 final set.
The Cardinals will look to get right back in the win column on Tuesday when they host Granada. After that, they will have a few days off before hosting their own tournament on Saturday. Their first round match-up in the bracket format is with South Baca (3-7).
Eighth-ranked Otis (11-3) enters the week unbeaten against 1A opponents. After suffering two losses to 2A foes the week before, the Bulldogs took down 2A Merino (4-6) last week in a sweep. MaKenna Metzler (20 kills) and Ruby Halcomb (17 kills) powered Otis past the Rams. The Bulldogs will look to bolster their standing in the YWKC League as they host Idalia (4-6) on Friday and visit Bethune (2-11) on Saturday.
Flagler-Hi-Plains had won four straight before dropping matches to 2A Burlington and top-ranked Kit Carson last week. They lost both of those contests in sweeps. Kodie Niebur-Hasz led the squad with nine kills against the Cougars and five against the Wildcats.
This week has the program on the road for a critical district seeding match against Arickaree/Woodlin (10-3) on Friday. While Flagler/Hi-Plains does not participate in the YWKC League, they join the teams from that league for district play. The Indian-Mustangs are tied with Otis atop the league standings.
After spending last week on the outside looking in, Eads (6-2) gets back into the field this week. The tenth-ranked Eagles took down Elbert (8-6) in their only action last week. Emily Gyurman and Brooklynn Jones each had four kills to pace Eads in the sweep.
The Eagles will host a feisty Walsh squad on Friday and then participate in the Swink Classic on Saturday. That event also includes Springfield and Sangre de Cristo (10-3), as well as the hosts.
Despite picking up three victories in sweeps last week, previously tenth-ranked Belleview Christian (12-1) fell out of the rankings. In fact, the Bruins did not receive a single vote this week. They have a huge showdown next Tuesday with Front Range Baptist (7-0) that should decide the 5280 League and with it, the top seed for District 8.