For the first time this season, there was very little movement inside the top-10. No new teams made the poll this week, as the ranked teams went 18-7 last week. There are two matches this week pitting ranked teams against each other, but those aren’t the only big clashes scheduled.
Top-ranked Kit Carson (11-0) continued its sweep streak, beating both #9 Wiley (7-2) and Cheyenne Wells (5-4) 3-0 last week. The Wildcats still have not dropped a set this season. Their next challenge will be on Saturday when they visit #7 Flagler/Hi-Plains (6-2). Tess Hornung recorded 21 kills last week, giving her 89 on the season.
Flagler/Hi-Plains went 4-0 last week, but they were pushed in three of those wins. They needed four sets to dispatch Genoa-Hugo (7-6) and five to get past Byers (4-6). The most impressive victory came in the Hi-Plains tournament on Saturday, where they defeated #4 McClave (8-1) its first loss in three sets. Flagler/Hi-Plains also swept Kim/Branson (5-5) in that event. Kodie Niebur-Hasz collected 58 kills over the week, while Devan Stegner racked up 48, including 23 against Byers.
The other ranked vs ranked match-up has #3 Holly (9-1) hosting #9 Wiley on Friday. The two met back on Aug. 29 with Holly gaining a five-set victory, taking the fifth set 15-13. The Wildcats, who had last week off, take a five-match winning streak into the rematch. Kallie Cathcart recorded a season-high 16 kills in the first meeting. The junior has 100 kills on the season.
After recording at least seven kills in each of the last five matches, Faith Dellamaestra was held to four in Wiley’s loss to Kit Carson last week. As a team, the Panthers only registered 10 kills in that loss. The junior led Wiley with seven kills in the loss to Holly a month ago.
Wiley will also face Granada (1-4) on Tuesday and Kim/Branson on Saturday. Both of those matches will be at home. Holly visits Walsh (2-5) on Saturday.
Second-ranked Fleming (10-1) will look to stay unbeaten in the North Central, as the Wildcats host Pawnee (1-10) on Thursday and Weldon Valley (5-5) on Friday. Outside of a loss to 3A Bishop Machebeuf, the Wildcats have only dropped one other set. That was against Weldon Valley in their first meeting. Last week, Fleming downed Prairie (4-7) with Bailey Chintala hammering 11 kills and Alli Keisel adding nine. On the season, Keisel leads the way with 117 kills and Chintala has registered 93. The Wildcats have won at least 34 straight against Pawnee and have a 29-8 mark against Weldon Valley since 2007.
McClave’s loss to Flagler/Hi-Plains snapped a six-match winning streak to begin the season. The Cardinals responded by winning their next two match-ups in the Hi-Plains tournament, beating Creede (5-5) in two sets and Genoa-Hugo in three. That wrapped up a 4-1 week for the Cards, who also picked up wins over Cheraw (3-8) and Springfield (2-5). McClave hosts Cheyenne Wells on Tuesday in its only action of the week. The Cardinals had won four straight against the Tigers before dropping a 3-0 contest last year. Overall, McClave has won 14 of the last 18 meetings.
Despite winning its only match of the week in a sweep, La Veta (9-0) fell two spots to #5 this week. The Redskins, behind nine kills from Kaylee Corsentino and seven from Nya Sciacca, defeated Antonito (5-8) 3-0. The Redskins will host Cotopaxi (6-2) on Friday, looking to improve to 12-0 against the Pirates, ahead of Saturday’s rematch with Springfield.
La Veta dropped the opening set against Springfield three weeks ago, but roared back to take the match in four. The Redskins won the final set 28-26. Corsentino (15 kills) and Sciacca (11) combined for 26 kills in that meeting at Springfield. This meeting will have big RPI implications, as the Longhorns check in at #11, two spots ahead of La Veta.
One of the roughest weeks belonged to #6 Otis (9-4), who went 2-2 against 2A opposition. The Bulldogs began with a 3-0 loss to Haxtun before finishing third in the Akron Invitational on Saturday. Otis dropped their opener of the event to 2A #10 Wiggins (12-1), but they rallied to beat Sargent and Custer County to claim third place. The Bulldogs will face another 2A opponent this week when they host Merino on Tuesday. The next match with a 1A foe will be next Friday against Idalia.
Since suffering a loss to Fleming, #8 Briggsdale (10-2) has rolled to five straight wins. Included in that were sweep victories over Heritage Christian (5-6) and Pawnee. The Falcons were pushed to five sets their last time out, but they finished off Merino (3-5) 15-10 in the fifth for the victory. The only contest on the schedule this week is at Peetz (1-10) on Saturday. That leads into a difficult stretch for the Falcons, where they will face Weldon Valley, Fleming and Prairie in consecutive matches. All of those will be at home.
Belleview Christian (9-1) ran its winning streak to nine straight to begin last week, but the tenth-ranked Bruins had that streak end on Saturday. The Bruins fell to 2A Gilpin County (6-4) in a sweep at home, with no one reaching double digits in kills in the loss. This week sees Belleview Christian hosting Denver Jewish Day (2-2) on Tuesday, a non-CHSAA school on Thursday, and visiting Cornerstone Christian (5-6) on Friday.
Outside of the top-ten, a key match-up features Dove Creek (8-2) at 2A #8 Dolores (8-1) on Tuesday. Those two sit atop the mixed classification San Juan Basin and they each hold a two-game edge over their closest challengers. They will meet again in just over two weeks, but the winner of this meeting gains a leg up in the chase for the league title.
The Bulldogs, who have won their last six matches, are led by a quartet of hard swingers. Cassie Gatlin leads the way with 70 kills, followed by Breea Meyer with 55. Madilyn Hankins and Faith Johnson have each record 44 kills.
Friday has a non-league clash between Eads (5-2) and Elbert (8-4). Eads sits 12th in this week’s RPI standings, while Elbert comes in at 26th. The Eagles enter the week having won their last three matches, and the Bulldogs have won four straight.
Also on Friday, Arickaree/Woodlin (8-3) visits Stratton/Liberty (6-2) in a game that will help determine district seeding. The Indian-Mustangs should move their winning streak to four straight matches when they host Bethune on Tuesday, while the Knighted Eagles will have their shot at Bethune on Thursday. While the two co-op programs are in different leagues, they are in the same district.