The feature attraction on the 2A volleyball slate this weekend is in Limon where the 9th ranked Badgers entertain top ranked Yuma.  It’s the only match up of ranked teams across the entire division this week.  Also on the list of important matches are league encounters between Dolores-Telluride, Las Animas-Swink and Sanford-Del Norte.
Yuma and Limon enter Friday’s clash with different levels of confidence.  Yuma is unbeaten (3-0) and is coming off a four-set win against Chase County NE Tuesday night.  Limon (1-1) meantime, suffered a 3-1 loss to Hoehne in their last outing.
Tuesday was the first time past three sets for the Indians this year as they had previously swept Sedgwick County and Pine Bluffs, WY.  Cody Robinson and Chasey Blach each totaled 13 kills in the win; Elle Roth added seven and Ema Richardson and Tyler Hansen ended the match five apiece.  The Indians also tallied a whopping 19 aces including eight from Hansen and five from Blach.  Reagan Nolin upped her season total to 56 assists with 32 in the win.
Friday’s match is the first of several September challenges for the defending state runners-up.  They also tangle with 4A Roosevelt and 3A University on the 15th.  Sterling is on the docket for the 18th and then what could be a #1 vs #1 match with Kit Carson is set for the 29th.
Limon must also deal with Genoa Hugo in a key conference match Thursday night so the Badgers can’t completely focus on the Indians until getting through that one.  Limon, Hugo, Byers and possibly Stratton/Liberty will push for the Union Pacific title.
The Badgers recorded just 29 kills against Hoehne compared to 44 for the Farmers.  Anna Weisensee collected 17 and freshman Trista Marx was next with five.  Amy Weisensee (13) and Lauren Stang (12) shared setting duties again and Weisensee added three aces.  Defensively, the Badgers surrendered 10 aces in the loss.
Dolores and Telluride played four times last season with the Bears winning all four on their way to the San Juan championship.  All four meetings a year ago went at least four sets with one going the full five.  They could face off on a regular basis again this year as the two are expected to battle with Ignacio and Dove Creek for the league title.
Dolores reached the state tournament last year but is below five hundred at this point (1-2).  They haven’t played since August 25th so the Thursday match with Telluride will end a long inactive stretch.  Jordan Elder (322) and Tatum Majors (161) both return up front for the Bears this year.  Elder had 61 kills in the four wins over Telluride last year and Majors 31; including a season best 15 in the third meeting.
Telluride has already played seven matches; winning four.  They went 3-1 at the Rangely Tournament last Saturday responding with three straight wins following an opening loss to 3A Moffat County.  Their lone setback to a 2A opponent came in the opener against Soroco.
Danika Petit (44 kills) and Jess Pack (33) are 1-2 in hitting for the Miners this year.  Those two have also combined for 28 aces.  Morgan Watkinson leads the team with 75 assists and Sierra Shambaugh, with 45, leads a list of seven players who have at least 20 diggs this season.
Having beaten defending league champion Sargent last week, Del Norte can take early control of the Southern Peaks by beating Sanford on the road Saturday.  It’s the first of two meetings with the Indians as they meet again on September 28th.  That will be part of a tough back-to-back for Del Norte as they also meet Sargent on the 27th.
Myka Glover powered down 12 kills as the Tigers swept Sargent last week.  Lacie Jones added seven and Kiela Madrid five.  Jones and Glover each ended with three aces and Glover led the Tigers in blocks (4) and diggs (10).
Sanford (4-1) won three of four matches at the West Grand tournament over the weekend.  The lone blemish came against #2 Meeker.  They also topped Peyton, Gilpin County and Calhan.
Both Sanford and Del Norte are in action on Friday before meeting on Saturday.  The Tigers have a league doubleheader with Center and Crested Butte.  Sanford has their hands full with 5th ranked Swink.
The match with Sanford will finish off an important back-to-back for Swink as the Lions also host Las Animas on Thursday.  That’s a key early match inside the Santa Fe conference and their date with Sanford will greatly impact post-season bracketing in the new 2A post-season format (no district tournaments).
Swink has won all five matches thus far with four of them coming in league play including victories over Holly, Hoehne and Rye.  Fowler is 2-0 and Rocky Ford 1-0 but all other league members have already suffered a league loss.  Swink and Fowler play for the first time on September 13th.
The match with Rye went five sets and the Lions were led by Skyler Jones who totaled 14 kills and 13 assists.  Kyla O’Neal added nine kills while Brianna Denton and Brooklyn Mueller each had seven.  Six players had at least 11 kills led by O’Neal’s 23.  Tierra Holland was next with 22 and led the Lions with 15 assists.
Las Animas (3-2) has played good volleyball this season.  They sit 1-1 in conference play with a win over Holly and a loss to Rocky Ford.  The match with Swink is the first of two important ones this week as the Trojans also go to Rye on Saturday.  And then the first match next week is with Hoehne.
Madison Gonzales leads Las Animas with 30 kills; Shelby Eck has 23 and Ceeley Turner 21.  Gonzales already has 20 aces and also leads the team with 62 diggs.  Julyana Gonzalez is next with 57 and also tops the club with 54 assists.  Freshman Danica Maes is second with 42.
Earlier this week, #6 Denver Christian scored a nice 3-1 road win at Byers.  The match followed a runner-up finish by the Thunder at the Glenwood Springs Tournament last Saturday and pushed their record to 4-1 overall.
Their lone loss out west came against 3A #8 Alamosa in the tournament finals.  Anna Kaemingk and Jacki Bogner each had six kills but DC was outhit on the night 28-16.  Katie Mitchell had 13 diggs.
Denver Christian goes to Twin Peaks Charter on Thursday and that will be the second of five straight road matches.  They then return home for difficult tests with defending state champion Lyons on the 18th and Limon on the 21st.
For Byers, the match resulted in their first loss of the season.  They’ve had previously taken out Clear Creek and Kiowa in straight sets.  The Bulldogs are home to Front Range Christian on Friday with local rivals Elbert and Calhan coming up next week.
#2 Meeker captured the West Grand Tournament title last Saturday and upped their record to 5-0.  The Cowgirls return to league play this Friday and Saturday against Vail Christian and Vail Mountain.
#3 Wiggins is now 7-0 after topping Caliche in three sets Tuesday night.  The Tigers are off until next Tuesday when they battle Haxtun in another Lower Platte league encounter.  They won each set over Caliche by at least eight points.
#4 Simla moved to 4-0 by beating Kiowa last Saturday.  They’ll be busy this weekend at the Bennett Tournament and enter the event as the favorite along with the host Tigers.
#8 Fowler has Santa Fe league victories over Swallows Charter (3-1) and John Mall (3-2).  The Grizzlies put the early unbeaten mark on the line against Colorado Springs School on Thursday.  Rye and Swink are up next week and both are critical to the Grizzlies chances to land the conference crown.
#10 Rye is off the rest of the week and has just one match with Las Animas before challenging Fowler next week.  The Thunderbolts picked up eight kills from Rachel Shaffer in their Tuesday win over Vanguard (3-0).