Eaton and Coal Ridge scored important wins on Tuesday as each took over sole possession of first place in their respective conference.Â Centauri did the same last Saturday as the volleyball races inside Class 3A continue to shake out.
Bennett and Middle Park continue to top the standings as expected.Â The Tigers moved to 6-0 by downing Platte Canyon in three sets on Tuesday and Middle Park can match that record by beating Clear Creek and Arrupe Jesuit on the road Thursday and Saturday.
A better win for Bennett came last week as they stuffed Clear Creek in four sets.Â The match was intense as three sets were decided by only two points and two went beyond 25 points.Â Offensively, the Tigers look to leading hitter Olivia Bonstead 56 times and she responded with 21 kills.Â She matched a season high and was just two short of a career 23 set during her sophomore season.
Nakita Swingle added 13 kills and 29 diggs.Â Isabelle Babi led the Tigers with 35 digs in the win.
Clear Creek, which picked up 11 kills from Rachel Lucas in the loss, must beat Middle Park on Thursday to stay in the league championship picture.Â A loss leaves them two games off the pace plus they would fall short in any tiebreaker against the league leaders.
Middle Park has lost just one set in league play.Â The Panthers haven’t played since sweeping Academy last Thursday.Â Kierra Barr finished with 10 kills and led a balanced attack.Â Sammy Phillips had eight, Bailey Martin seven and Morgan Shaw six.
There might be a changing of the guard as Centauri took over the conference lead with a three-game sweep of Bayfield last Saturday.Â The Wolverines have won every conference title since 2007 and the loss last weekend was just their third in league play during that stretch.Â The win also pushed Centauri quickly up the ladder in every media and coaches poll in the state and bumped them to 8th in the RPI.Â Staying there will allow them to host a regional tournament the first week of November.
The Falcons improved to 13-0 by beating Ignacio and they’ve now topped their win total of last season (12-12).Â Another win ties the program for the most wins since MaxPreps started posting records in 2007.Â They look to keep the momentum going against Pagosa Springs on Thursday.Â They downed the Pirates 3-1 on September 23rd despite 17 kills from Faith Ahlhardt.
Bayfield lost for a second straight time on Tuesday; falling in five sets to Piedra Vista NM.Â It was their only match scheduled for this week.Â They remain solid for no worse than second place in the IML as they lead Alamosa and Pagosa Springs by two games in the loss column.Â The rematch with Centauri is set for October 14th.
League leading Lutheran (5-0) has just one match this week but it’s a tough one with Peak to Peak on Wednesday night.Â The Pumas are one of five teams sharing fourth place in the conference but they have a win over Machebeuf who is tied with Faith Christian in second place.
The Pumas also play Faith Christian next Wednesday so they’re entering a key stretch.Â Wins in both are a must to have any chance at a conference crown but a victory in one could cause some issues for one of the contenders down the stretch.
Haley Frederking (159 kills) and Tyler Fedderma (124) are the man two threats for Peak to Peak.Â The next hitter has just 31 kills.Â Â Calla Winner is another key component in the lineup as she leads the team in aces (36) and assists (246).
Lutheran has won 12 in a row overall but the brunt of their league slate is ahead of them as they’ve yet to face either Machebeuf or Faith Christian.Â The Lions are 5-0 inside the conference.Â Payton Brgoch has 55 kills in league play including a season high 21 against Colorado Academy.Â She has a team best 143 kills for the season.Â Abby Akers is next with 117 kills and has reached double figures in five matches.Â Three of those have occurred against conference rivals.
Faith Christian is away from conference play this week but the Eagles did sweep Platte Valley Monday night.Â Sophia Keister had 10 kills; Bella Keister and Alina Randall each had nine.
Machebeuf gets back on the court for the first time since September 21st when they face Jefferson Academy on Wednesday.Â The Buffs also tangle with Kent Denver on Friday.Â Their last match was the four-set loss to Peak to Peak.
RPI wise, the conference is in position to host four and possibly five regional tournaments.Â Faith Christian is 2nd in the standings (as of October 4th) with Machebeuf, Lutheran, and Colorado Academy sitting ninth through eleventh.Â Prospect Ridge is also 13th.Â The top 12 host regional events.
Eaton’s 60th straight win in conference play was an important one.Â It came Tuesday night at University and the three game sweep of the 2nd ranked Bulldogs pushed the top ranked Reds into sole possession of the conference lead.Â The final was 25-20, 25-19 and 25-20.
Both the first and third sets were tied at 20 before the Reds made a final surge.Â They had a comfortable margin most of the way in set two.Â Stats are not available yet but Colorado Preps will have video highlights from the match posted soon.
With the loss, University drops into a second place tie with Resurrection Christian but an earlier win over the Cougars gives the Bulldogs the tiebreaker.Â Plus, Resurrection Christian still has a league match with Eaton on the schedule.Â University has also beaten fourth place Valley so the Bulldogs appear to be in great shape for no worse than a second place finish.
Resurrection Christian swept Estes Park Tuesday night.Â It’s their only match of the week.Â Morgan Watson ended with 16 kills marking the sixth straight match she’s reached double figures.Â The sophomore also dropped in 25 kills last week against Frontier Academy which is a career high.
Valley bounced back nicely from the loss to University by bouncing Frontier Academy 3-0 on Tuesday.Â Each set finished 25-22.Â Delaney Eckhardt paced the Vikings with 21 kills and Halie Diederich added 31 assists.Â Freshman Mady Blevins led Frontier with 11 kills.Â Cari Otto had 30 assists.
The Wolverines are currently tied with Sterling and Platte Valley in fifth place but staying there could prove difficult.Â They line up against Eaton on Thursday.
If regional tournaments were set for this week, the Patriot would have three teams hosting.Â Eaton tops the class in RPI points with University third and Resurrection Christian fifth.Â Valley is normally on the list but going into the weekend the Vikings are 17th in RPI points.
In a still-crowded race, four teams remain within one game of the conference lead.Â Lamar and Buena Vista are both 6-0 and share first place with Colorado Springs Christian (7-1) and Manitou Springs (5-1) right on their heels.Â The key match for this week is set for Saturday as Manitou Springs heads to Lamar.
Manitou Springs got in a nice tune-up on Tuesday; downing Vanguard 3-1.Â The Mustangs needed just 30 kills for the win and 14 were provided by McKayla Cully.Â Kylie Middleton added eight.Â Abbie Boren was also factor.Â She reeled off seven aces giving her 25 for the season.
Lamar also has a match before focusing on Manitou Springs as they head to Trinidad two nights earlier.Â Â The Savages already have a win over Colorado Springs Christian so if they beat Manitou Springs, all that’s left for a conference championship is their match with Buena Vista on the 14th.
It’s the second meeting between the Savages and Mustangs as they also met in the Machebeuf Tournament.Â Lamar won in two sets behind 12 kills from Cali Clark and 11 from Maddy Williams.Â Cassie Forgue dropped in five aces and Aliceson Fierro added 17 assists.
Buena Vista plays just once this week.Â The Demons host St Marys Thursday night.Â Colorado Springs rolled La Junta (3-0) on Tuesday in their only league match of the week.Â Megan Engesser topped the Lions with 13 kills.Â Jubilee Diamond added 11 and four aces.Â Christine Ajayi picked up 28 diggs and Jillian Francis had the same number of assists.
Not only did Coal Ridge take over sole possession of the conference lead by beating Delta on Tuesday, the Titans may have captured the league title overall.Â The win leaves them one game on Delta, Aspen and Cedaredge and the Titans have already beaten all three.
Tuesday’s win was tight as the Titans won 25-21, 25-19 and 25-22 but last week’s five set marathon win over Aspen last Thursday may have been even more impressive.Â Coal Ridge reeled off a whopping 60 kills and Kenzie Crawford assisted on 48.Â Paige Harlow led the way with 22 kills and Taylor Wiescamp added 12.Â Cassie Greene, with nine and Alexa Wiescamp, with seven, provided plenty of depth at the net.
The Titans have played just eight matches to this point so they will be among the busiest clubs in any class through the rest of the regular season.Â Next up is at Grand Valley on Thursday and then they’re involved in tournament play on Saturday.
Delta must bounce back quickly as they meet Aspen on the road Thursday.Â As mentioned, the two are part of a three-way tie for second place.Â The winner will share second place with Cedaredge provided the Bruins also get by Olathe on Thursday as expected.
Cedaredge meets both Delta and Aspen next week so it’s a key stretch in the battle for second.
For RPI, Coal Ridge is fourth in standings posted October 4th so they appear in great position to host a regional tournament.Â Aspen and Cedaredge are 14th and 15th respectively so their head-to-head match next week becomes even more important.Â Delta is 28th.
Eagle Ridge Academy typically is the conference champion and post-season rep from the conference but they’ve yet to play a league match.Â DSST-College View is off to a 2-0 start so they’re the league leader.Â Eagle Ridge (8-1) opens league play at home against William Smith next week.Â At 27th, they also own the best RPI of any league member.