4A VOLLEYBALL UPDATE

An anticipated week of volleyball in Class 4A opened Monday night with #5 Valor Christian hosting #7 Thomas Jefferson.  The Eagles picked up a three-set win to earn their third consecutive win and give them some momentum entering Thursday’s challenge with top ranked Lewis Palmer.
Against Thomas Jefferson, Lily Thomason pounded down 13 kills while Maddie Allen (4) and Anna Davis (3) combined for seven key aces.  Allen was also responsible for all 24 of the team’s assists.
Lewis Palmer enters the showdown with a perfect 7-0 mark and just one lost set for the entire season.  Their last win came on Tuesday against Rampart as eight different players recorded a kill.  Kessandra Krutsinger led the list with nine and Jadie DeLange provided eight.
The Rangers date with Valor Christian will draw attention but even more eyes will be focused on Lewis Palmer Saturday when they host top ranked Eaton from Class 3A.  The Rangers handed the Reds a loss in the season opener last year but Eaton has won the last four state championships in 3A and last week dispatched reigning 5A champion Fossil Ridge in three sets.  That win along with victories over Mountain Vista and Cheyenne Mountain gave the Reds the Eaglecrest tourney title.  It shapes up to be a tremendous match between arguably the two best programs in Colorado regardless of class.
Niwot’s win over Longmont on the road last week gave the 4th ranked Cougars sole possession of the Northern league.  They stayed there with a four set win over Mountain View earlier this week and now sit 4-0 in conference action.  Longmont shares second with Silver Creek with scored a big win over Thompson Valley Tuesday night.  Niwot is favored to stay atop the standings as they face Greeley Central on Thursday.
Thompson Valley is now games behind the leader but can quickly climb back into the race by beating Longmont.  They host the second place Trojans Thursday.  The Eagles received 10 kills from Kaelyn Giefer and took the first set against Silver Creek but dropped the final three to lose a share of second place.
Longmont is perfect overall except for the loss to Niwot.  Rachel Kusbel paces the attack with 110 kills but gets plenty of support from Autumn Drees (63), Kaitlyn Bridge (49) and Caroline Demosthenes (42).  Feeding those four and others is Annika Wetterstrom; the team leader in assists with 260.
Silver Creek gets a good test with Mountain View on Tuesday and then have a more important meeting at Longmont next Tuesday.   That match will determine second place outright if both win out this week.
Palmer Ridge (#9) celebrated their first ever top 10 billing and improved to 10-1 by beating Liberty 3-1 Tuesday night.  It was their fifth straight win.  Freshman Mac Russ topped the hitting stats with 16 kills and junior Summer Reflogal was next with a dozen.
The Bears are back in action at Harrison on Thursday and then open play in the rugged Pikes Peak Conference against Lewis Palmer on the 28th and Cheyenne Mountain on October 5th.  Those two opponents have combined for the last nine state championships in Class 4A.
Tri Valley Co-leaders Holy Family and Windsor meet Thursday in the first of two matches that could determine the conference champion.  The Tigers are ranked second in Class 4A and have dropped just one set in winning their first five league matches.  Windsor is only 5-4 overall but sits unbeaten in league play (4-0) and has not lost a set.
Windsor features a nice one-two punch at the net in Rylee Grieman (81 kills) and Ally Kennis (56).  Grieman averages nearly 11 kills per game in conference play and Kennis seven.  Kennis also produced a season best 12 kills in the league opening win over Erie.
Holy Family has won their last six matches overall and moved past Skyline 3-0 on Tuesday night.  Ali Travis is a returning all-state hitter and has registered 151 kills this season.  That number tops Class 4A and is fifth statewide.  Teammate Rachel Siurek, with 94, is also closing in on triple figures.
In checking other conferences in Class 4A, the Western Slope has witnessed the most league activity.  Glenwood Springs (4-0), Eagle Valley (3-0) and Palisade (3-0) have the early conference lead and all other clubs have at least two losses.
The three first place teams start to square off this week and Palisade has the charge of facing Glenwood Springs on Thursday and Eagle Valley on Saturday.  Both matches are at home however.  Glenwood Springs is unbeaten overall and has the most wins of any club without a loss (10) in any class.  Eagle Valley is also battle tested as they faced the likes of Montrose, Chaparral, Berthoud, Legend and Thomas Jefferson in non-conference play.
Pueblo West, Pueblo County and Pueblo South opened South Central action with wins this week but the #3 Cyclones remain the heavy favorite.  Their last conference loss came in 2010.
Fort Morgan and Englewood (both 1-0) have the very early lead in the Colorado 7.  Both clubs are also 6-3 overall and have the best records of any 4A team in the mixed conference.  Class 3A Weld Central sits at 8-2 but hasn’t played a league match.
Conference action has not started in either the Colorado Springs Metro or Jeffco.  Valor is favored in the Jeffco but could get pushed by D’Evelyn.  The Jags have played just four matches but wins in all four have gotten them into the rankings this week at number ten.
Widefield (7-3) has the best record of the Colorado Springs Metro members but Classical Academy (5-5) might be the favorite.  The Gladiators open the conference run at Elizabeth on the 28th and Classical Academy starts with Sierra on October 3rd.
 

RPI STANDINGS – PUBLISHED SEPTEMBER 21ST

  1. Niwot
  2. Lewis Palmer
  3. Valor Christian
  4. Palmer Ridge
  5. D’Evelyn
  6. Longmont
  7. Pueblo West
  8. Pueblo County
  9. Holy Family
  10. Evergreen
  11. Widefield
  12. Windsor
  13. Durango
  14. Montrose
  15. Vista Peak
  16. Thomas Jefferson
  17. Erie
  18. Glenwood Springs
  19. Fort Morgan
  20. Ponderosa
  21. Roosevelt
  22. Mountain View
  23. Cheyenne Mountain
  24. Air Academy
  25. Discovery Canyon
  26. Silver Creek
  27. Thompson Valley
  28. Summit
  29. Eagle Valley
  30. Greeley Central
  31. George Washington
  32. Frederick
  33. Palisade
  34. Berthoud
  35. Classical Academy
  36. Northridge

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