2A Regional Volleyball Preview

Postseason volleyball gets started this weekend, as the regional round will narrow the field to eight teams, who will compete at the state tournament at the Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs, beginning May 12th. We take a quick look at each region. All regions play Saturday.

Photo provided by Rio Blanco Herald Times.

 

REGION 1:  #1 WIGGINS (12-2), #16 DAWSON SCHOOL (9-4), #24 OLATHE (9-5)

After reaching the semifinals last season, Wiggins has been at or near the top of the Class 2A rankings all of this season. The Tigers shared the LPAA crown with Merino and Sedgwick County. Their losses this season were to 1A Fleming in five and 1A Merino in four. They only lost four sets outside of those two losses. The Tigers enter the postseason having won four straight matches.

Each class is represented in the top four attackers for the Tigers, led by senior Bre Gilliland with 121 kills. Junior Rachael White is next with 111, followed by sophomore Lexi McCullough with 100, and freshman Tyleigh Fehseke with 85. McCullough’s 38 blocks are only two shy of matching the next two on the team, combined. Avery Burdette is tops with 345 digs and 34 aces, while Jenna White leads with 329 assists.

Every team that beat Dawson School during the regular season qualified for the postseason, and three of the four are hosting regionals. The Mustangs did not drop a set in any of their nine victories. They had won four straight matches before falling to Denver Christian in three last Saturday.

Seniors lead the way in every category for the Mustangs, with Dagney Javes tops in kills (143), aces (33), and blocks (24). Nicole Scribner is second with 92 kills and leads with 121 digs. Classmate Angelina Sala sits atop the charts with 332 digs, is tied with 33 aces, and is second with 97 digs.

Four of Olathe’s five losses this season were to postseason teams, with only a four-set defeat by Rangely in the regular season finale being the exception. That loss snapped a three-match winning streak. The Pirates only had three matches not go at least four sets, and they went 2-0 in five-setters.

Senior Ashlee Green is a big force at the net, leading the team with 117 kills and 90 blocks (80 solo). Makena Liles leads the Pirates with 261 assists and 29 aces, while Anastasia Bollinger has 267 digs to pace the squad. Freshman Sadie Shea is second in kills (70), digs (158), and aces (23).

 

REGION 2:  #2 DENVER CHRISTIAN (12-0), #15 ADDENBROKE CLASSICAL (7-2), #23 WEST GRAND (8-6)

The defending 2A champion, Denver Christian has won 41 straight matches dating back to the start of the 2019 season, and is 68-2 over the last three seasons. The Thunder dropped a total of five sets during the season, and went 2-0 in five-set matches. They are 5-0 against regional qualifiers.

Jacki Bogner went over 1000 career kills during the season, and has 170 on the campaign. She also leads the Thunder with 36 aces and 16 blocks, and is second with 146 assists. Emily Sullivan leads the latter category with 161, and is second with 118 kills, 24 aces, and 93 digs. Freshman Abbie Roettjer tops the squad with 138 digs.

The nine matches played by Addenbroke Classical is tied with Vail Christian for the fewest played by any team in the 2A postseason. The Mustangs finished second in the Confluence, dropping only a four-set contest with DSST: Byers. They only played one non-conference match, a three-set loss to Belleview Christian in the season-opener.

Sophomore Brenna Enstrom’s 96 kills are nine more than the next two players on the team, combined. The standout also leads with 39 aces, and is second in digs (64). Katie Major paces the Mustangs with 191 assists, to go with 27 aces. Lucia Morton leads with 69 digs, and Ellie Smith’s 13 blocks are tops on the team.

A three-match winning streak at the end of the regular season helped West Grand punch its ticket into the postseason. The Mustangs did not drop a set in that streak. Overall, West Grand won seven of its final nine, including a four-setter over qualifier Olathe.

The Mustangs have only posted very limited stats.

 

REGION 3:  #3 MEEKER (12-0), #14 UNION COLONY PREP (10-4), #22 YUMA (6-8)

One of three unbeaten teams still in the field, Meeker dropped a total of five sets during the season, tied with Denver Christian for the second fewest. They went 4-0 in matches against regional teams, including a four-set victory over Soroco last Friday.

Emma Luce dominates the stats for Meeker, leading the team with an impressive 290 kills (7.1/set), 49 aces, 29 blocks, and 239 digs. Tatum Kennedy (252) and Sophia Goedert (160) are the top two in assists, while juniors Savannah Mendenhall (35) and Sarah Kracht (25) have combined for 60 aces.

Union Colony Prep was eliminated due to COVID issues.  That leaves just one match as Meeker will host Yuma on Saturday at 11:00am.

After a 3-8 start to the season, Yuma’s postseason hopes seemed dim. Then, the Indians finished with a three-match winning streak. Coupled with a schedule that included nine matches against postseason squads, that was enough to get the Indians into the regional round. They went 1-8 in those contests with top teams.

Junior Elle Roth leads the way in kills (153), aces (28), and digs (236), while Ema Richardson is tops with 32 blocks and second with 121 kills. Freshman Caddis Robinson has added 78 kills and 23 aces, and sophomore Lea Richardson has recorded 345 assists.

 

REGION 4:  #4 SEDGWICK COUNTY (12-2), #13 HERITAGE CHRISTIAN (10-4), #21 SARGENT (8-6)

Sedgwick County was part of the three-way tie for the LPAA title, sharing it with Merino and Wiggins. The Cougars won their first six matches of the season, taking four in a row in five sets. They went 7-2 against regional teams, with the losses coming against Wiggins and 1A Fleming.

Four different players have recorded more than 100 kills on the season for the Cougars, led by Gabrielle Powell with 178. Kierra Ehnes is next with 153, followed by Alison Woodhams (124), and Jensen Renquist (113). All four are underclassmen. Powell also leads the team in blocks, registering 41. The team has great balance on defense, with Renquist compiling 169, Woodhams (165), Ehnes (156), Ashley Rahe (155), and Whitney Walter (133). Walter and Woodhams have recorded 274 and 228 assists, respectively.

Heritage Christian finished in the pack in the Mile High during the season, posting a 2-3 mark against postseason qualifiers in the process. The Eagles struggled in the second half of the season, closing with just three wins in their final seven contests. That includes a four-set defeat by Gilpin County last Friday.

The Eagles spread the attack out among five players, with none having more than 82 kills. That pack is headed up by Kali Siemers, followed by Savannah Brown (73), Kate Moulton (69), Avery May (57), and Emily Faltermier (56). Moulton has stood out with 200 assists and 71 aces, while Brown has recorded a team-leading 35 blocks.

Sargent opened the season with five straight sweep victories, but then dropped the next four matches (three in sweeps). The Farmers did not win a match against anyone who qualified for the postseason.

The Farmers have only shared very limited stats for the regular season.

 

REGION 5:  #5 FOWLER (10-3), #12 LIMON (7-7), #20 COLORADO SPRINGS SCHOOL (8-3)

Fowler did not drop a set to a 2A opponent, as all three of their losses came to 3A postseason qualifiers. The Grizzlies won their final two outings of the regular season after suffering a five-set defeat at the hands of Alamosa. They own a win over Limon during the regular season.

Emily Flanscha, who had 10 kills in the win over Limon, leads the team with 120 on the season. The junior is also second on the club with 121 digs. The Grizzlies have also received 101 kills from senior Kaley Pieper, 84 from junior Tannice Wetzel, and 76 from senior Emerson Mason. Mason leads with 32 blocks, followed by Pieper with 19. Brooke Bell is tops with 174 digs and 26 aces, while Ryanna Pruett has a team-best 352 assists in close to 1100 attempts, without an error.

Limon finished second in the Union Pacific, behind 1A Stratton/Liberty. Every team that beat Limon during the regular season is still alive in the postseason, and the Badgers picked up wins over qualifiers Genoa-Hugo/Karval, Sargent, and Flagler. Two of those came in five sets.

Junior Trista Marx, who was named 2A Player of the Year in basketball after guiding the Badgers to the state crown, leads them with 199 kills, while adding 111 digs and 17 aces. Classmate Michiah Leeper is the only other Badger with more than 100 kills, posting a total of 145, to go with 19 aces. Freshman Jentri Marx leads the defense at the net with 51 blocks, with sophomore Brylyn Owens leading the back line with 121 digs. Senior setter Bree Bandy has 327 assists and only three errors in more than 850 chances.

Colorado Springs School rides a five-match winning streak entering the postseason, the longest of the three teams in this region. All three of the losses by the Kodiaks were to 3A teams, one of whom made the postseason. They also own a win over 1A qualifier Evangelical Christian. The Kodiaks were unbeaten in Black Forest league play.

Seniors Elise Layton (144) and Whitney Richardi (128) lead the team in kills, and are the only two with more than 60 on the season. Richardi leads the club with 191 digs and is second with 19 blocks, while Layton shows versatility by being second with 145 assists. Shively Kerek is tops with 196. Brooke Reid is the top blocker, recording 29 (23 solo). As a team, the Kodiaks have served up 164 aces, and have six players with at least 10. Kerek (40), Layton (35), and Richardi (30) lead that group.

 

REGION 6:  #6 VAIL CHRISTIAN (9-0), #11 DEL NORTE (10-4), #19 DOLORES (10-4)

Vail Christian played nothing but league games and took the Western Slope crown while only dropping a total of three sets. No one forced the Saints to a fifth set during the regular season. They own wins over qualifiers Olathe, West Grand, and Soroco.

The Saints have not made any stats available.

Less than two full weeks into the season, Del Norte was just 3-3. They would win seven of their final eight, including a six-match winning streak at one point. The Tigers enter the postseason on a forfeit victory over Crested Butte. All four of their losses are to qualifiers, including three in Class 3A. The Tigers have wins over postseason teams Sargent and Dolores.

Senior Kaeci Madrid leads the squad with 160 kills (almost double number two on the team) and is third with 155 digs. Sophomore Kelci Madrid is tops with 329 digs, and second with 22 aces. Lynnea Valdez, who is second with 23 blocks, has a team-high 24 aces. Charley Higham’s 48 blocks (29 solo) lead the team, as do Molly Cavett’s 301 assists.

It was a bit of a rough go for Dolores against top teams this season, as the Bears compiled a 1-4 mark in matches against teams that reached regionals. The lone win avenged an earlier loss to Telluride. The Bears ride a four-match winning streak into the postseason, with three of the four coming in sweep fashion.

The duo of Erin Brown (274) and Sydney Smith (126) have combined for 400 kills on the season. The rest of the Dolores team has 80. Brown has added 221 digs and 34 aces, while Smith 167 digs and 18 aces. Akira Edwards has a team-high 235 digs on the season, and junior Kamri Willbanks has registered 366 assists.

 

REGION 7:  #7 DAYSPRING CHRISTIAN (12-2), #10 SOROCO (10-3), #18 ROCKY FORD (8-4)

Trying to make a state tournament appearance for the first time since 2017, Dayspring Christian brings a three-match winning streak into regionals. The Eagles went 3-2 in match-ups against regional teams, beating 3A Highland, as well as Dawson School and Union Colony, while falling to both Heritage Christian and Denver Christian.

The first stat that jumps out with regards to the Eagles is service. As a team, they are just four aces away from 200. Karrin Chandler (39), Madison Meissinger (35), Kylie VanIddekinge (32), and Tabor Flanagan (30) all have at least 30. Flanagan leads the attack with 95 kills and the junior also has a team-leading 31 blocks. Chandler has 194 assists as the primary setter, while VanIddekinge has added 94. Corrin Sides and Carley Mondragon lead with 175 and 157 digs, respectively.

All three of Soroco’s losses were to postseason qualifiers, and outside of those matches, the Rams only lost three more sets. They possess wins over Olathe and West Grand, to go with the losses to Vail Mountain, Vail Christian, and Meeker.

Service has also been a strength of the Rams, who also enter with 196 aces as a squad. Irene Hoff (51), Peyton Parker (48), and Emily Romero (41) have combined for 140 of them. While no ones hitting numbers blow you away, the Rams have excelled on defense, both at the net and off. Sophia Benjamin has 76 blocks and Eden Mayer has added 71, while Parker has a team-high 233 digs. Makinley Parker is second with 172. Hoff and Romero direct the offense, recording 153 and 128 assists, respectively.

Of the four losses on the ledger for Rocky Ford, two were to teams who qualified for the postseason. The Meloneers fell to both Fowler and 1A Springfield in three sets. The best win of the season was a five-setter against 1A Kit Carson, who made the regional round.

Gracie Moreland, who had a nice career in the pool, leads the club with 120 kills and 50 aces, and is second with 143 digs. Lily Hancock, who missed close to two weeks, stands second on the team with 81 kills, averaging better than three per set. Senior Teagan Mendoza-Werner is first with 209 assists, second with 32 aces, and third with 120 digs. Sophomore Torrin Mendoza-Werner leads the Meloneers with 164 digs.

 

REGION 8:  #8 VAIL MOUNTAIN (9-2), #9 HOLYOKE (10-4), #17 TELLURIDE (11-3)

Five straight have gone in the win column for Vail Mountain heading into the postseason. The Gore Rangers have only dropped three sets since falling to Meeker in five sets three weeks ago. Their only other loss was in four sets to Olathe at the end of week two. The Gore Rangers have wins over Soroco and West Grand.

Cloe Cunningham has a slight lead in the kill department, holding a 137-132 edge over Oly Holguin. Cunningham also leads with 37 blocks, while Holguin is second in digs, tallying 156. The leader in that category is Julia Harty with 216. Harty also has 25 aces, 10 fewer than freshman Elizabeth Pratt, who leads the team. Grace Linafelter has racked up 350 assists.

Three straight losses to start the season had Holyoke behind the eight ball, very early. All three losses were in league play, and the LPAA would go on to send six teams to the postseason, four in Class 2A. The Dragons followed that skid with four straight sweeps, and after a loss to 1A Fleming, they closed out the regular season with six straight wins.

While Kristin Vieselmeyer gets the bulk of the attention, thanks to her 200 kills, 62 blocks, 29 aces, and 229 digs, the Dragons are more than just a one-person show. Elise Krogmeier (81) and Correy Koellner (80) have combined for more than 160 kills, with Krogmeier adding 30 blocks. Elyce Talavera has team-highs in aces (37) and assists (376), while being third in digs with 132. Tamara Penzing tops the team with 245 digs.

Telluride also got off to a bit of a bumpy start, dropping two of the first four matches of the season. It was during that stretch that the Miners split with Dolores. They would lose but one more time the rest of the way, a three-set defeat by 1A qualifier, Dove Creek. The Miners earned sweeps in nine of their 11 wins.

The Miners have a 1-2-3 punch in the attack, with junior Emery Berry (123), sophomore Emma Righetti (93), and senior Kyra Levan (93) combining for more than 300 kills. Berry has added a team-best 39 aces, while Righetti has contributed 23 aces and 19 blocks. Ally Tealdi stands atop the digs (123) and assists (196) categories, and is second with 25 aces. Morgan Watkinson, who splits time at setter, has added 174 assists.

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