During the regular season our 3A volleyball updates have previewed the top matches and highlighted individual performances.Â Over the final two weeks, the reports will change a bit as we focus entirely on league races and which matches are left to determine conference champions.Â RPI standings will also be included as we try to decide which clubs will host regionals and qualify for the post-season.
The top 12 teams in the final RPI standings will host regional tournaments regardless of league finish.Â Overall, the top 36 teams in the same rankings will qualify for the post-season.Â And a league champion gets in even if they finish outside the top 36.
For purposes of this report, we use the RPI standings before matches played on Tuesday October 17th.Â With matches almost every night, the standings change daily.
Eagle Ridge Academy took sole possession of the conference lead by sweeping DSST-Green Valley on Monday night.Â Neither team had suffered a league loss before the match but now Eagle Ridge sits alone in first.Â They another league match at Lotus School on Wednesday and then face DSST-College View on the 23rd.Â DSST-College View has just one league loss and sits tied with DSST-Green Valley in second place.
With an overall record of 11-1, Eagle Ridge Academy is solid in the RPI this year sitting at 22nd this week.Â DSST-College View is next on the list at #42 so there’s a good chance the league gets just one bid again this season.
Middle Park grabbed the league championship with their four-set win over Bennett last Thursday.Â They also secured the number one seed for the conference tournament which begins this Thursday and concludes on Saturday.Â Bennett ended up second and Clear Creek in the top tier of the division.
Despite last week’s result, Bennett is in better shape than Middle Park to host a regional tournament.Â The Tigers are 9th in the RPI while Middle Park is back at #14.Â Both are solid picks for the post-season and the rolls could be reversed if they meet a second time and Middle Park wins again.
DSST-Stapleton is also headed to the post-season as they’re 17th in RPI.Â Pinnacle (29th) is also in good shape while Lake County (37th) sits on the bubble.Â Academy is 44th and might be too far down the list to make the 36-team bracket.
Clear Creek moves to the 2A division for the playoffs and they’re 14th in the RPI.Â They’ll be involved in district tournament play next week and join a rugged event that also includes Lyons, Dayspring Christian, Union Colony Prep and Highland from the 2A Mile High conference.Â Dayspring (4th), Lyons (5th) and Union Colony (10th) are all in the top ten of 2A RPI and only the top three teams from the district tournament advance to regional play.
Centauri is the league champion.Â The Falcons rolled through the conference schedule unbeaten at 10-0 and should host a regional tournament next month.Â They stayed perfect on the season overall by downing Trinidad in three sets on Monday night and will be on the court again Tuesday against Sanford.
Bayfield (7-2) has one league match remaining at Pagosa Springs on Thursday but the Wolverines have already clinched the runner-up spot.Â Pagosa Springs though could use a win to stay one game ahead of Alamosa in the race for third.Â A loss drops them into a tie with the Moose and the clubs split two regular season matches.
As mentioned, Centauri will host a regional tournament.Â The Falcons are 5th in the RPI this week and their unbeaten overall mark will keep them in the top 12 regardless.Â Bayfield is 16th and will likely travel for the regional tournament for the first time in several years.Â Pagosa Springs (31st) and Alamosa (33rd) could each use some more wins to secure their place in the regional round.
There’s still plenty to decide in this conference as league matches stretch into next week including a big one between Lutheran and Faith Christian on the 25th.Â Lutheran (7-0) leads Faith Christian (5-1) by one game in the standings so that match will decide the league championship unless the Eagles lose this week.Â They go to St Mary’s Academy on Wednesday and then host Skyview Academy on Friday.
Lutheran has just one match this week.Â The Lions head to Machebeuf on Wednesday and a win there clinches a top two finish.
The match starts a crucial three-day stretch for the Buffs as they also face Colorado Academy on Friday.Â Machebeuf and Colorado Academy share third place with identical 5-2 conference marks.Â Machebeuf dropped into the tie following their three-game loss to Prospect Ridge last week.
Because of that win, Prospect Ridge remains in contention for a top four league finish.Â If Machebeuf drops one of the two matches then the Miners sneak ahead of the Buffs by beating Kent Denver on Wednesday and Skyview Academy next week.Â If Machebeuf loses twice, then Prospect Ridge needs just one more win to wrap up fourth.
The league will be well-represented in the post-season.Â Faith Christian (2nd) and Lutheran (7th) should host regional tournaments while Prospect Ridge (10th), Machebeuf (11th) and Colorado Academy (12th) could join them.Â Peak to Peak (18th) is a sixth league team that will qualify for regionals while Skyview Academy (34th), Kent Denver (38th), St Mary’s Academy (39th) and Jefferson Academy (40th) are also in contention.
Eaton (8-0) needs a win over Resurrection Christian on Tuesday or Valley on Thursday to secure the league championship.Â They lead University (7-1) by one game and have a win over the second place Bulldogs.Â University has clinched second and can only gain the championship if the Reds lose twice.Â The Bulldogs go to Platte Valley on Tuesday.
After the top two, it gets a bit muddy.Â Valley (7-2) and Resurrection Christian (6-2) are tied for third with Valley owning the tiebreaker based on their head-to-head victory.Â Platte Valley (4-3) still has league matches remaining against University (Tuesday), Estes Park (Thursday) and Frontier Academy (next week).Â They must upset University to have any chance to finish in the top three.
Resurrection Christian goes to Eaton on Tuesday and then concludes the Patriot schedule against Strasburg next week.Â In-between is an interesting date with 2A defending state champion Dayspring Christian on Friday.
Sterling (5-4) is sixth but could move up at least one position.Â They get to fifth by beating Frontier Academy and a loss by Platte Valley in one of their final three matches.Â The Tigers beat Platte Valley head-to-head.
In the past, the Patriot has hosted up to five regional tournaments but that number is likely three or possibly four this year.Â Eaton (1st), University (3rd) and Resurrection Christian (4th) will get to host with Valley (15th) trying to break into the top 12.Â Platte Valley (19th) and Sterling (20th) will also get post-season invitations and Frontier Academy (30th) is a likely playoff team as well.
Buena Vista took the first step to a conference championship by topping Lamar in four sets on Friday.Â That win pushed the Demons into sole possession of first place.Â Step number two could take place on Thursday against Colorado Springs Christian.Â The Lions are the defending league champions and are tied with Lamar in second place.Â Both are one game back of the Demons in the loss column.
The Thursday match is sandwiched by two additional league dates for Buena Vista.Â They go to La Junta on Tuesday and then visit Vanguard on Saturday.Â A loss in either changes the scenario for the top spot quite a spot.
Lamar has a win over Colorado Springs Christian so they remain in good shape for no worse than a top two finish.Â The Savages host James Irwin on Thursday and then Vanguard on the 28th.Â Wins in both keep their league championship hopes alive but they also need some help.Â They’re the champions by winning out if Buena Vista loses two of their final three matches.
Colorado Springs Christian must win out and hope that Lamar is upset to defend their title.Â The Lions also have a tough test with arch-rival Manitou Springs on Tuesday night and a loss there damages their league title hopes.Â The Mustangs (7-2) are fourth.
Lamar remains the highest ranked team in the RPI (8th) so the Savages could easily host a regional tournament.Â Buena Vista (13th) is also in the running to be at home for the first round of the playoffs.Â Manitou Springs (25th), Colorado Springs Christian (26th) and Rye (27th) seem to be post-season clubs.
St Mary’s (32nd) and Florence (36th) remain very much alive for regional tournament bids.Â The Pirates close the schedule at James Irwin on Tuesday and Rye on Thursday.Â Rye is also the opponent for Florence on Tuesday night.Â Making the playoffs would be a huge accomplishment for the Huskies after winning just two matches in 2016.
Coal Ridge (8-0) is the league champion and concludes their conference schedule at Gunnison on Saturday.Â Before facing the Cowgirls, they face 4A opponents Montrose and Rifle and those matches should boost the Titans RPI.Â They begin the week sixth and appear to be very safe to hosting a regional tournament.Â Coal Ridge also host a regular season ending tournament next week and have several quality programs in the field which could also boost the RPI.
Delta (6-1) picked up a huge win over Cedaredge last week and since they’ve also beaten Aspen, the Panthers appear to be in good shape for second place.Â The Skiers (6-2) are one game back of the Panthers.Â Delta hosts Grand Valley on Friday and Roaring Fork on Saturday.Â Favored in both they need just one win to secure the runner-up spot.
Aspen also beat Cedaredge last week and that gave the Skiers the inside track to third place.Â They host Basalt on Thursday and Olathe on Saturday and need wins in both to wrap up the spot.
Coal Ridge is the only league team that will host a regional tournament but several others will get into the bracket.Â Despite the two losses last week, Cedaredge is the next highest ranked team as the Bruins are 21st.Â Delta is 23rd and Aspen 24th.Â Gunnison (41st) has work to do to play past the regular season.
TEAMS COMING IN FROM CLASS 4A CONFERENCES
Weld Central and Englewood are two teams that compete in the 4A Colorado 7 that could qualify for the 3A post-season.Â The Rebels are 28th and in great shape thanks to their win over Fort Morgan last week.Â It gave the Rebels sole possession of the conference lead.Â Englewood is more of a question.Â The Pirates are sixth in the league standings but 35th in the 3A RPI.Â Their remaining matches won’t help their strength of schedule as they meet Alameda, Arvada and Fort Lupton.
Fort Lupton is a third 3A team competing in the Colorado 7 but the Blue Devils are well outside the 3A playoff bracket at #51 in the latest RPI standings.