Since the late September and October volleyball schedule is dominated with league matches, its extremely rare to get two number one ranked teams on the same court but the 2A volleyball schedule includes such a pairing this week.  Class 2A #1 Yuma entertains Class 1A #1 Kit Carson on Saturday in a highly anticipated match.
Players involved won’t be intimidated by the attention the match receives as most have played on the big stage many times.  Kit Carson won both the volleyball and basketball championships last year and return most of the talent to both clubs.  They’re favored to land another volleyball crown this Fall and will be the top pick to land a second consecutive basketball title as well.
Yuma has played in the last four state volleyball championships and five of the past six title games in basketball.  They won the volleyball crown in 2015 and have captured two of the last three trophies in hoops.  The same individuals play major roles in both sports.
The Indians are 11-1 this year with a lone loss to 3A #2 University in four sets.  They’re coming off a 25-2 season where the only losses were suffered to University and the state finals to Lyons.  Coach Jenny Noble has an imposing front line of Chasey Blach (156 kills), Cody Robinson (129) and Taylor Hansen (72).  Reagan Nolin has also been important for the top ranked Indians.  Stepping into the setter’s role for the first time this year, the junior has recorded at least 21 assists in every match and totals 350 for the season.
The Indians also have 110 aces through 12 matches including 34 from Hansen and 26 from Robinson.
Defensively, three players are in triple figures for diggs led by Robinson with 161.  Blach has 33 blocks and Hansen 24.
In facing Kit Carson, the Indians will be a bit undersized against the tall front line of Tess Hornung, Makenzie Smith and Olivia Isenbart.  Hornung and Smith lead the offense with 97 kills apiece and Isenbart is third with 74.  Isenbart has also recorded 44 blocks and the team has 69.
Hornung also paces the Wildcats with 29 aces and is second in assists with 108.  Josie Hornung tops that category with 109.  Defensively, Haley Johnson has 174 diggs and tops a list that includes two others in triple figures.
Of course, the match has no bearing on league championship races as the teams are in different classifications.  But it could affect post-season bracketing as both teams are in contention for the top overall playoff seed.  The Indians are 3rd in Class 2A trailing Meeker and Union Colony Prep.  Kit Carson is second in Class 1A trailing Otis by .011 in those standings.
In league play, Yuma continues to share the Lower Platte lead with Merino and Wiggins.  All three teams are unbeaten.  The Indians stayed that way with a three-game sweep of Haxtun on Tuesday but Merino and Wiggins collide on Thursday so one will fall off the pace.
Ironically both the Tigers and Rams are coming off losses to Otis in their last match.  Merino, which will compete in the 1A post-season this year, fell to the Bulldogs 3-0 on Tuesday while Wiggins was upended in five sets at the Akron Tournament last Saturday.
Despite a three-game sweep, the Merino-Otis match was tight.  Two sets went to extra points with Otis winning game one 29-27 and game three 26-24.  Against Wiggins, the Rams are entering the crucial stretch of their league schedule as they meet Akron on Friday and Yuma next week.
Wiggins was pushed to five sets for the first time this season against Otis but ended up with their first loss.  Looking at the statistics, it’s difficult to see how they came up short.  The Tigers had 49 kills compared to just 36 for Otis and had 48 assists to just 21 for the Bulldogs.  Both teams ended up with seven aces.  The first four sets were decided by five points or less so we’re guessing the Bulldogs won key points late in the matches to score the win.
In the loss, Tanna Hansen picked up 19 kills; Lexi Steinbar and Paige Finegan each had eight.  Chloe Baker had 44 assists and 21 diggs.  Bre Gilliland added 15.
Del Norte looks to basically clinch the Southern Peaks title by beating Sanford and Sargent for a second time.  Those matches are set for Friday and Saturday.  The Tigers beat Sargent 3-0 and Sanford 3-1 earlier this season and those two matches are the difference as Del Norte leads the other two by one game in the league chase.  The Indians and Farmers have not played this year and if they come up short this week, their two contests on October 2nd and 16th should determine second and third.
The first match with Sanford was more difficult for Del Norte.  They won 3-1 but two sets went into extra points.  Sanford won the second game 30-28 and the Tigers wrapped up the win by grabbing set four 26-24.
Lacie Jones had 21 kills and Myka Glover 16 for Del Norte.  Kiela Madrid added seven.  Sophia McConnell also played well; finishing with team highs in diggs (32) and aces (4).  Brianna Gallegos had 27 assists.
Sanford got a strong performance from Nykia Ruvolo as she picked up 11 kills and 12 blocks.  Lauren Canty added eight kills.  Mackenzie Peterson provided 24 assists.
Del Norte beat Sargent 15-15-19 behind a combined 19 kills from Glover (12) and Jones (7).  They each added three aces and Gallegos chipped in 10 assists.
1A Dove Creek kept sole possession of the San Juan lead by beating Mancos on Tuesday night (3-0).  The Bulldogs have now won five straight and have a one game lead on Dolores.  They beat the Bears in five sets earlier this year.  Next up are two matches with Telluride as they face Miners both home and away next week.
Mancos plays Dolores on October 9th and 23rd and results from those two contests could determine second and third.  Dolores goes to Ridgway on Thursday for their only game action of the week.
Simla grabbed the outright lead in the Black Forest with their four-set win over Colorado Springs School last week.  Kegan Hamacher had 12 kills and Riley Maranville 10 in the key win.  The Kodiaks, now a game back in the race, got 14 kills from Elise Layton.  The first place Cubs go to Dolores Huerta on Friday and host Las Animas on Saturday.
No change is expected this week atop the Mile High standings.  Top 10 teams Denver Christian and Union Colony are tied with Dawson in first place.  All three teams entered the week at 4-0 and all three picked up a fifth win on Tuesday.  Denver Christian goes to Heritage Christian on Thursday and Union Colony meets Front Range Christian on the same night.  Dawson has two more matches this week; against Denver Christian and Longmont Christian Thursday and Friday.
There was a surprising result in the Santa Fe league on Tuesday but it didn’t impact the overall standings that much.  Holly upended Swink (3-2) and handed the Lions their first league loss.  Despite that setback, the Lions still lead the Eastern division by two games over Holly and by three over Crowley County and Rocky Ford.  The win was more important for Holly as they stayed in line for a runner-up finish and better post-season seed.
Over in the West division, Rye kept their one game edge on Hoehne by sweeping John Mall.  The Thunderbolts continue league play at home against Crowley County on Saturday.  Hoehne kept pace in the standings by beating Swallows Charter and the Farmers go to John Mall on Thursday.
The key match inside the Western Slope has DeBeque at West Grand on Friday.  The 1A Dragons enter the weekend in a first-place tie with Meeker.  Both are 6-0.  The Cowboys meet Caprock Academy and Hotchkiss on Thursday and Friday and are heavily favored in both.  DeBeque also visits Hayden on Thursday before taking on a solid West Grand team the next night.
Vail Mountain (6-1) and Paonia (3-1) are tied for third.  Vail Mountain takes a break from league play this week while Paonia looks to stay within range of the leaders with wins over Hotchkiss and Rangely.
Limon (3-0) and Stratton/Liberty (2-0) sit atop the Union Pacific standings with Byers and Flagler/Hi Plains (both 2-1) a game back.  Byers picked up an important win over Genoa Hugo on Tuesday and next goes to Deer Trail on Thursday.  Flagler/Hi Plains looks stay tied with the Bulldogs in third by beating Burlington the same day.
Limon has three more league matches left and will tangle with Stratton/Liberty next week (Oct 2nd).  Other matches include dates with Burlington (11th) and Byers (18th).  Stratton/Liberty hosts Kiowa and goes to Idalia this week in non-league tests.