Okay, now we are starting to see a wider sample of volleyball results. With proof on the courts, players and programs are shakin’ out who they might be in 2018. And they are providing evidence to help support instincts about what looks good on the calendar. Here are a few matches that make me look and why.
Tuesday, September 4                                   #1 Chaparral Wolverines at #1 Lewis-Palmer Rangers (4A)
Another week with the Wolverines featured on the V-B marquee with a Tuesday treat facing a #1 squad. A difference this time around is Chaparral (6-1, 0-0) is also a top-ranked team after jumping up in the updated Class 5A polling results. And their opponent here is nationally-ranked, Lewis-Palmer (1-0, 0-0), from Class 4A.
You’ll need three hands to count the number of next-level prospects that are going to be on the floor in Monument. Kira Thomsen (OH)(2019) is one of those talents recording high ranking attack numbers (3.2 kills/set) through seven early season matches that have included four of the current Top 10 teams in Class 5A. The balanced net presence of Julianna Dalton (RS)(2020) — 1.2 blocks/set and 2.9 kills/set — is another of many indicators why Chap’ has enjoyed a strong start this season.
This joust with the 3-time defending 4A champions begins a three-date run for the Wolverines against Top 10 programs in Class 4A.
Wednesday, September 5                            #2 Holy Family Tigers (4A) at #6 Valor Christian Eagles
These two programs last met in CHSAA play during the semifinals at the Denver Coliseum this past November. Both remain respected by the poll voters. However, they now compete in different classifications.
Pin hitters for 6th-ranked Valor (3-0, 0-0) have posted notable kills stats through three non-conference matches that include wins over a pair of current Top 10s. Senior OH Courtney Lane (4.3 kills/set) and senior OH Lily Thomason (3.5 kills/set) will pound the offerings of junior setter Caroline Reinkensmeyer (8.0 assists/set) at a Holy Family (4-2, 0-0) squad that is 1-1 versus Top 10 teams from Class 5A. The Tigers come into this match working off the momentum of a 5-set victory over #9 Rock Canyon at the annual Regis Jam tournament.
Thursday, September 6                                 #8 Chatfield Chargers at #3 Fort Collins Lambkins
That lone loss for #1 Chaparral was delivered by 3rd-ranked Fort Collins (3-1, 0-0).
Settle in and enjoy the work. Rallies may last a while. As projected, senior L/DS Erika Jones (6.6 digs/set) has been a stud keeping balls off the floor for the gritty Lambkins while senior L/DS Alexa Alameddin (5.8 digs/set) is also recording Top 5 early-season digs data for #8 Chatfield (3-0, 0-0).
Thursday, September 6                                 #9 Cheyenne Mountain (4A) at #1 Chaparral Wolverines
Top-ranked Chaparral (6-1, 0-0) follows up their roadie at L-P with a home date against another annual 4A tournament juggernaut. Cheyenne Mountain (1-1, 0-0) is a program now working under a new head coach, Gail Sanchez.
Three juniors and a freshman lead the Indians in kills stats. They will have to hit through or around senior middle Abby Heimlicher at net while senior libero Kyle Gerson (3.0 digs/set) will be waiting to up balls that get by the Wolverines’ block up front.
Thursday, September 6                                 Bear Creek Bears at #7 Castle View Sabercats
Off-radar intrigue about Bear Creek (4-0, 0-0) testing themselves against defending champion, Castle View (3-2, 0-0).
Thursday, September 6                                 Highlands Ranch Falcons at Denver East Angels
Not even one courtesy nod in the poll? We are still learning, so I vote to check in on three Division 1 prospects and a pair of respected head coaches.