Tuesday night is filled with tremendous matchups including a battle of league unbeatens in the San Juan where Dolores entertains Dove Creek.Â The Bears (2A) have won their first six league matches and Dove Creek (1A) their first four.Â The winner of course takes over sole possession of the conference lead and since the Bears have already beaten Telluride twice, they could move very close to landing the overall crown.
Both clubs are red hot of late.Â Dolores has won four in a row and dropped just one set in the process.Â Dove Creek has lost just two sets in rolling up six consecutive wins.
Sophomore Jordan Elder leads a young Dolores club with 99 kills and is hitting at 41 percent.Â Junior Tatum Majors is next with 53 kills at 40 percent.Â Sierra Schwartz is the lone senior in the main rotation and is third on the team with 50 kills.Â Junior Abby Jones has a team best 219 assist with just 28 errors.
For Dove Creek, senior Larissa Randolph directs the offense with 180 assists against just six errors.Â Sophomore Cassie Gatlin is the top hitter with 70 kills followed by Breea Meyer with 55.Â The Bulldogs also have a whopping 87 aces already this season including a team high 31 from Gatlin.
With 58 aces, Dolores is also effective at the service line.Â They’re more balanced there as five players have recorded at least 10.
The match begins a busy stretch for the Bears as they also visit Norwood on Thursday and Ouray on Saturday.Â For Dove Creek, the Tuesday encounter is their only match on the schedule.
The Mile High league chase will continue to sort out with key matches this week.Â Lyons goes to Dawson on Tuesday and meets Highland on Thursday.Â Dayspring Christian and Union Colony Prep also get together that night.
Starting the week, Dawson and Denver Christian are unbeaten in conference play and share the lead by one game over Lyons, Highland, Dayspring Christian and Union Colony.
Lyons trails Dawson in the standings but has played a much more difficult schedule including two five-set losses to top 10 opponents Denver Christian and Yuma last week.Â In-between they knocked off Heritage Christian.Â Taylor Maguire had a monster week that finished with 33 kills in 91 attempts against Yuma.Â In three matches, the sophomore compiled 58 kills on 170 swings.Â Her 33 kills were a career high.
Kylen Christiansen also set a career best with 63 assists against Yuma.Â Her previous best was 40.
Dawson carries a four match winning streak into Tuesday.Â Their best victories this season are against Union Colony (non-conference) and Highland.Â Elizabeth Porrey, with 95 kills, paces play at the net.Â Stella Bristol has 74 kills and Kierra Porrey has provided 156 assists.
Since each already has one league loss, Thursday’s date between Dayspring Christian and Union Colony Prep could be an elimination.Â It’s difficult to imagine that a team with two early losses can win the overall title in such a deep league.
Dayspring Christian won three matches and the title at the Simla Tournament beating the host Cubs in five sets in the title match. Â More importantly, the Eagles saw the return of Katie Kurz to the lineup.Â The returning 2A Player of the Year was hurt against Lyons and missed the final set and half of that match.Â She was also held out against Twin Peaks Charter but returned to action on Saturday and finished with 62 kills.Â Megan Roberts also had 62 kills in three matches and the duo combined for 54 in the championship win over Simla.
Union Colony pushed Lyons to five sets on September 12th but has won two straight since.Â Lynndee Veik had 11 kills in the loss and leads the team overall.
Denver Christian used 18 kills from Hally Herder and 12 from Anna Kaemingk to outlast Lyons.Â McKenna Mueller added three blocks and Herder two.Â Jenna Peters (16) and Jenai Harman (12) combined for 28 assists.Â The Thunder have two league matches this week against Twin Peaks Charter and Heritage Christian.Â Favored in both, wins will keep them atop the league standings going into next week’s date with Dayspring Christian.
In the Lower Platte, Wiggins is on the road to Haxtun Tuesday in an important match.Â The Tigers are tied with top ranked Yuma and Holyoke for the conference lead.Â Haxtun, which lost in three sets to Yuma last week, is one game off the pace and needs a win to stay in the discussion.
Wiggins has won 11 straight but is entering their most critical stretch of the season.Â After battling Haxtun on Tuesday, the Tigers tangle with Yuma and Wray next week and then Holyoke the week after.Â How they fare in those four matches will determine their league standing and district tournament seed.
After winning only eight matches last season, the Tigers are one of the most improved clubs in the division and entered the top 10 this week.Â Tori Jordan tops the team with 130 kills and Tanna Hansen is next with 97.Â Freshman Tasha Hansen is third with 72.Â Chloe Baker has 438 assists.
The service line has been very important to their success this year.Â The Tigers have 116 aces in 13 matches and three players have at least 20.Â Bre Gilliland leads the list with 29.
Yuma entertains Wray on Thursday in a good rivalry contest.Â The Eagles are just 3-5 but have state tournament experience from last year.Â Sitting 1-1 in conference play, they can immediately get back in the league title chase by upsetting the #1 Indians.
The Indians are coming off a solid week where they beat Haxtun in three and outlasted Lyons in five.Â Chasey Blach had 25 kills against Lyons and Cody Robinson 18.Â Kenedy Roth reeled off 51 assists.
This week marks the second run through of conference play in the Santa Fe conference.Â Teams there play 14 league matches and face each other home and away.Â Swink (6-1) sits alone in first with Hoehne, Fowler and Rocky Ford in second with identical 5-2 records.
All four leaders play this week.Â Fowler goes to Hoehne on Tuesday and then visits Rocky Ford on Thursday.Â Hoehne and Swink also face off on Thursday.Â Results will determine if there is separation or if the race gets even more crowded.
Swink beat Hoehne in five sets in their first meeting.Â The match was remarkably even as the Lions finished with 41 kills and the Farmers 40.Â Both teams had eight blocks and Hoehne had the edge in serving with 13 aces compared to six for Swink.Â Swink though had 112 diggs to just 91 for Hoehne.
Individually, Brooklyn Muller (11) and Skyler Jones (10) combined for 21 kills for Swink.Â Shaelyn Walton had a match high 14 for Hoehne followed by Brittanie Hill with 10.
The Farmers though can’t focus completely on Swink as they also have a rematch with Fowler on Tuesday.Â That match also went five sets with the Farmer scoring the win.Â Walton had 20 kills in the win and Hill finished with 16.
Fowler worked four sets in beating Rocky Ford in their first meeting.Â Both teams also have a league loss to Swink on their resume.Â Emi Romero, with 132 kills leads the Rocky Ford offense.Â Kierstin Lucero is second with 95.
Paonia, Rangely and Meeker are all unbeaten and continue to lead the Western Slope chase.Â Rangely topped Meeker last week but that was a non-conference match.Â Hotchkiss is fourth with one league loss and the Bulldogs challenge one of the league leaders on Friday when they visit Meeker.Â The teams have a common opponent in West Grand and both worked five sets.Â Hotchkiss though came up short while Meeker ended up with the victory.
Byers and Stratton/Liberty (both 1-0) have the very early lead in the Union Pacific conference.Â They play October 12th but both teams have plenty of work to do before that match becomes a winner-take-all for the title.
Sargent (6-0) took the Southern Peaks lead by downing Del Norte in four sets last week.Â It was a tight match as all four games were decided by four points or less.Â Sargent faces another big test against 3A Centauri on Thursday before returning to league play against Crested Butte and Sanford Friday and Saturday.Â Del Norte, which picked up a dozen kills from Kiela Madrid against Sargent, has conference matches with South Park Friday and Cripple Creek Saturday.
Simla (3-0) and Colorado Springs School (2-0) sit atop the Black Forest conference. They face off next week.Â Simla (10-2) is the only league team with more than five wins overall so they remain heavily favored.Â Jerraldawn Rector had 16 kills in the tournament championship loss to Dayspring Christian.