Less than two weeks into the regular season, there’s been quite a bit of shuffling among the top clubs in Class 2A volleyball.Â Defending state champion Lyons has dropped their first two matches and several other clubs in the pre-season top 10 have already dropped matches.Â More shuffling could occur as most of the top contests on tap this week have yet to be played.
A key match inside the revamped Santa Fe conference went to Swink on Tuesday as the 7th ranked Lions survived Rye in five sets; winning game five 19-17.Â It’s the only meeting of the year between two clubs expected to challenge for their respective division crown.
The conference has been shifted into two divisions as newcomer Holly (up from 1A) joins Las Animas, Rocky Ford, Swink and Crowley County for the Eastern division with Hoehne, Fowler, Rye, John Mall and Swallows Charter in the West.Â Each team faces other clubs in their division twice and the other division just once.
The win pushed Swink to 4-0 on the young season and they face local rival Crowley County in Ordway on Thursday.Â They then face Las Animas and Sanford (non-league) next week.Â Rye dropped to 3-1 with the loss and is off until facing 3A Vanguard in Colorado Springs on the 4th.
Rocky Ford (4-1) is off to a strong start and hopes to make a run at the Eastern division championship.Â They beat Center and Las Animas in the opening week and then went 2-1 at the Ellicott tournament over the weekend.Â Emily and Gracie Moreland both have 27 kills to lead a balanced attack at the net.Â Lily Hancock has chipped in 23 kills and two others are also in double figures.Â The back line also has depth as Teagan Mendoza-Werner (50) and Carly Fraser (36) have combined for 86 assists.
Next up for the Meloneers is a Thursday match at 1A Springfield.Â The Longhorns have just one contest on their resume and will have a nine-day break since beating Eads in three sets.
Another unranked team making some early noise is Highland.Â The Huskies are also 4-1 after sweeping Frontier Academy on Tuesday.Â That win is even more impressive when one considers that Frontier Academy downed defending 2A state champion Lyons in the opening week.
Olivia Himmel registered nine kills in the win and has a team-high 37 on the season.Â Chloe Bolt was next with six kills on Tuesday and is second overall with 26.Â Himmel and Maiya Dehoyos both provided 11 assists.
The Huskies have a very difficult test at home against Platte Valley on Thursday.Â The Broncos are ranked 7th in Class 3A and are coming off a state tournament appearance but the game serves as their season opener.
Looking ahead to the weekend, fans should notice excellent matchups between #8 Del Norte and Sargent on Friday and #10 Limon versus Hoehne on Saturday.
Del Norte seeks to dethrone Sargent atop the Southern Peaks division this year.Â They beat the Farmers twice in three meetings in 2016 but dropped all three head-to-head battles a year ago.Â The Tigers (3-1) opened with a win over Hoehne and have added wins over Ignacio and Monte Vista since a tough loss to 3A Alamosa.
Lacie Jones (15) and Myka Glover (14) combined for 29 kills in the quality win over Hoehne.Â Keila Madrid chipped in eight and Syana Colville six.Â Glover also added five aces as the team produced 14.Â Sophia McConnell led the team in diggs with 29 and Brianna Gallegos added a season high 29 assists.
Sargent has yet to taste a victory as they’ve dropped opening matches to Sangre De Cristo and Centauri.Â The Farmers grabbed 20 wins last year and as mentioned are the defending league champions.Â Lanie Dillon (284 kills) and Alexia Aguilera (141) pace the offense but the team may still be finding a new setter after graduating their top two producers there from a year ago.
Limon had an easy time in beating Deer Trail (3-0) in their season opener Tuesday night.Â The Badgers took game one 25-4 and spent the final two sets getting experience for their entire roster.Â Anna Weisensee produced 10 kills in just 23 attempts while Amy Weisensee and Michaiah Leeper each added four. One concern for the Badgers moving forward is the absence of Sidney Hines who is out with injury.
While Limon has just one match completed, Hoehne has been much busier; playing four matches but winning just one.Â With losses to Swink, Del Norte and 3A Alamosa, the Farmers have played a difficult schedule while getting new players accustomed to their roles.Â Averie Navarette leads the team with 25 kills and Tiffany Montoya is next with 23.Â Autumn Gutierrez has added 18.Â Navarette and Montoya also have 15 aces between them.
New faces in the back include Abbigayle Dorenkamp (64 diggs) and Sarah East (41 assists).Â East is second to Montoya (42) in assists.
Top ranked Yuma won their season opener on Tuesday sweeping Sedgwick County (25-18, 25-10,25-12).Â They next head to Pine Bluffs WY on Friday as part of a doubleheader with the football team.Â Chase County NE and Brush are on the Indians schedule next week.
#2 Meeker has played just one match; beating North Park 3-1 last week.Â Julia Dinwiddie dropped in 14 kills, Krissie Luce 11 and Kassie Luce 9 as the Cowgirls outhit the Wildcats 51-20.Â Kassie Luce also provided 48 assists.
The schedule gets busier this weekend as they head to the West Grand tournament in Kremmling. Â Coach Greg Craven’s club meets Peyton, Gilpin County and Sanford in pool play and will be favored in all three.
#3 Simla dropped just one set last week while moving past both Strasburg and Peyton.Â Riley Maranville recorded a combined 21 kills in the win.Â She leads the team in that category but Kegan Hamacher has 18 and Kaitlyn Rector 12.Â Hannah Lutz has also played well with a team leading 31 diggs and 27 assists.
Two matches are on the Cubs slate this weekend.Â They head to Evangelical Christian on Thursday and they host Kiowa on Saturday.Â A week from Saturday (8th), they compete in the Bennett Tournament.
#4 Wiggins dropped the opening set to Akron on Tuesday night but then won the next three to remain unbeaten (4-0).Â Other wins have come against 3A Bennett, Estes Park and Cornerstone Christian.Â An intense rivalry match with neighboring Weldon Valley is set for Thursday.Â Last year the two county rivals battled through five sets before the Tigers grabbed the win.
As mentioned, #5 Lyons is off to an 0-2 start.Â They dropped a three-setter to 3A ranked Resurrection Christian on Tuesday.Â The Lions played the contest without top hitter Taylor Maguire who recorded 15 kills in the opening loss to Frontier Academy.Â The defending champs are right back on the court Thursday night at 3A Liberty Common.
#6 Denver Christian is chomping at the bit to get on the floor.Â The Thunder have yet to see game action but that changes on Friday/Saturday when they head to the Glenwood Springs Tournament.Â They will play four matches in two days while there and captured the top trophy there a year ago.Â First up on the schedule out west will be Pagosa Springs and Littleton.
#10 Dolores (1-2) has battled some inconsistency through the first 10 days of the season with losses to Sangre De Cristo and John Mall following an opening win over Center.Â The Bears are off this week but face a crucial early season league matchup with Telluride on September 6th.Â Those two clubs along with Ignacio are expected to battle for the San Juan crown.
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