Our 4A volleyball weekly report for the week continues to week through conference play across the state as teams continue work toward a title and top 12 finish in the RPI.  Those teams get a chance to host regional tournaments which improve their chances at landing a state tournament berth.
Elizabeth, Canon City and Classical Academy all picked up wins on Tuesday night and those three continue to share the top spot.  The Cardinals and Tigers both improved to 2-0 while TCA’s win over Sierra (3-1) marked their conference opener.
Annie Zielinski paced the Titans with 11 kills and Olivia Jacobsen added 10.  Freshmen Hope Storm (23) and Bethany Harris (17) shared time at setter and finished with a combined 40 assists.  Next up for TCA is a Thursday date at Widefield and another road match at Mitchell next Tuesday.
Canon City surrendered just 30 points in their easy sweep at Mitchell.  They outhit the Marauders 25-10.  The Tigers host Woodland Park on Thursday in what could be a good match.  The Panthers won almost every statistical category against Elizabeth on Tuesday but still lost the match in five hard fought sets.  It was their first conference loss.
Sarah Garner led Woodland Park with 13 kills but Kyla Green had a match best 15 kills for Elizabeth.  The Cardinals return to action on Thursday at home against Mitchell.
With Fort Morgan (2-0) expected to land the 4A portion of the combined league race, the focus for the Mustangs may more be on RPI.  They currently sit 13th in RPI standings and are within range of hosting a regional tournament early next month.  Working against them though is the schedule as many conference opponents are well down on the RPI list.  Conifer is next among 4A league members and the Lobos are only 47th.  The other three 4A league opponents sit in the 60’s.
Weld Central and Englewood could be the top challengers to Fort Morgan and both will drop into the 3A ranks for the post-season.  Englewood is 20th in RPI this week with Weld Central #33.
Next up for Fort Morgan is a match at Conifer on Thursday.  They face Englewood and Weld Central next week.
Two of the four teams that had a share of the conference lead to open the week have suffered losses to fall off the pace.  Wheat Ridge in fact has two losses as they fell to both Evergreen on Monday and Valor Christian on Tuesday.  Golden dropped their first conference match in a 3-0 loss to D’Evelyn on Tuesday.
Those results leave Valor Christian and D’Evelyn at 3-0 and sharing the conference lead.  They face off next Tuesday.  Golden sits alone in third at 2-1.
D’Evelyn had great balance in their win over Golden getting 13 kills from Peyton Wright and 11 from Sophia Hoffman.  Natalie Haggard added 32 assists.  Wright and Haggard also chipped in four aces.
Valor Christian did not surrender more than 15 points in a game against Wheat Ridge.  Eight players recorded at least one kill; a list led by Courtney Lane with nine and Lily Thomason eight.
The Eagles have a second league match at Littleton on Thursday while D’Evelyn is off the rest of the week.
Niwot (8-0) continues to enjoy a two game cushion on second place Longmont (6-2) after matches on Tuesday night.  The Cougars finished off a season sweep of Silver Creek by beating the Raptors in three and Longmont dropped Centaurus by the same margin.
No player reached double figures in kills for Niwot but Emma Falk was close with nine.  Zoe Gonzales and MacKenzie Fidelak each added eight kills.  The Cougars also finished with 14 aces including eight from Emma Shiers.  The sophomore had just 12 for the season entering the match.
Longmont has a tough test at Mountain View on Wednesday night.  The Lions are tied for third with Thompson Valley (5-3) and likely need a win to stay in contention for a top two finish.
Game one went to Longmont in four sets.  Rachel Kusbel had 19 kills as Longmont finished with 62 kills compared to just 47 for Mountain View.  Annika Wetterstrom provided a career best 51 assists as well.  Cayl Boman led Mountain View with a season best 20 kills.
Thompson Valley kept their piece of third by downing Northridge in three on Tuesday night.  Elease Marolf had four aces and Gwen Sheldon 19 assists.  The Eagles have home match with Centaurus and must avoid looking ahead to next Tuesday’s showdown with Mountain View that impact spots two through four behind Niwot.
There’s plenty of excitement today in the Discovery Canyon camp as the Thunder earned their first ever volleyball win over Cheyenne Mountain on Tuesday.  And it was from easy.  DC trailed the tradition rich Indians 2-0 but then regrouped to win the final three sets in exciting fashion 31-29, 25-22 and 17-15.  The match overall was extremely close as the Thunder finished with 120 points to 118 for Cheyenne Mountain.
Leah Lester led the winners with 19 kills and Ashten Prechtel added 10.  Prechtel was also solid on the other side of the net; picking up seven blocks.
The was also important in the league chase as it kept the Thunder tied with Lewis Palmer atop the standings.  Both are 2-0.  Lewis Palmer knocked Air Academy out of first place by sweeping the Kadets on Tuesday.  For the Rangers, it was their 36th win in their last 37 conference matches.
The most important match remaining this week is Thursday between Palmer Ridge and Cheyenne Mountain.  We thought the outcome might determine second and third behind Lewis Palmer but Discovery Canyon’s win earlier this week changed that scenario.
Palmer Ridge bounced back from a tough loss to Lewis Palmer by beating Sand Creek 25-10, 25-14, and 25-10 on Tuesday.  The Bears had 32 kills in only 72 swings.  Summer Reflogal led a balanced attack with nine kills.
It’s almost a foregone conclusion that Pueblo West will win another league championship so we will focus on the race for second place.  Pueblo County (4-1) has the spot now by one game over Pueblo Centennial (3-2).  The two in-city rivals meet for the second time on Tuesday and that winner could end up with a runner-up finish at seasons end.
County won the first battle in three sets 25-15, 25-17 and 25-10.  The Hornets have not posted stats from the win but their defense limited the Bulldogs to just 18 kills in 76 attacks.  County also has a bit of momentum as they earned a five set win over Pueblo East on Tuesday while Centennial looks to bounce back from a three set loss to Pueblo West.  They scored just 44 points overall in the loss and finished with only eight kills.
Eight matches into a long 14 game conference schedule, it’s a two team race between Holy Family (8-0) and Windsor (7-1).  Both teams were winners again on Tuesday.  The Tigers swept Berthoud and Windsor went four sets before beating Erie.
Ali’s lead the way for both club.  Ali Travis dropped in 12 for Holy Family and moved past 200 for the season.  She ended her junior campaign with 332 and is on pace to exceed that total this year.  Ally Kennis topped Windsor with 15 kills.  She got help from Rylee Greiman with 11.
Holy Family welcomes in Roosevelt on Thursday and Windsor goes to Frederick.  Both are favored to win again.  The Tigers beat Windsor in their first meeting last week and the two meet again on October 19th.
Erie must quickly forget about the loss to Windsor and focus on a key match with Berthoud on Thursday.  Those two are 4-4 in league play and trail Roosevelt (5-3) by one game in the race for third.  With Roosevelt playing Holy Family, the Erie-Berthoud winner could gain back a share of third place.
Berthoud won the first meeting in four sets taking the final two sets 25-20 and 25-19.  Julie Ward led all players with 19 kills and Casady Berry added 11.  The Spartans also had 13 aces including four from Berry and three apiece from Sophie Kathol and Trinity Penny.  Sydney Crites led Erie with 11 kills.  She’s also coming off a 15-kill night on Tuesday in the loss to Windsor.
No conference matches have played yet this week so the standings are the same as last weekend.  Eagle Valley (7-0), with recent wins over Palisade and Glenwood Springs, controls the race.  Palisade is second (5-1) with Glenwood Springs third (4-2) and Battle Mountain (4-3).
More shuffling could occur on Thursday when Glenwood Springs and Battle Mountain meet for a second time.  Glenwood won round one in four sets but three of the games were decided by just two points and two went beyond 25 points.
Final statistics also indicate just how close the two teams battled.  Glenwood Springs finished with 46 kills and Eagle Valley 47.  Eagle Valley had eight aces to six for the Demons.  One difference was on defense where the Demons picked up 14 blocks to just three for Eagle Valley.
Tye Wedhorn led Glenwood Springs with 19 kills and five blocks.  Maya Erickson added 11 kills and Saylor Warren also chipped in five blocks.  Lillian Benway topped Eagle Valley with 18 kills and Avery Weaver finished with 14.  Kassidi Johnson had 38 assists for the Demons and Lilly DeMuth 42 for the Devils.
Eagle Valley does not play a league match this week.  Palisade meets Rifle on Thursday and then goes to Summit on Saturday.