Conference play continues tonight with major battles found in four of the five divisions. In each case, the outright lead or at least a share of the league lead is on the line.
PHOTO PROVIDED BY DAN MOHRMANN
- 1A: Top ranked Merino suffered their first loss of the season last Friday in a five-setter against Sedgwick County but rebounded nicely with a three-game sweep of Weldon Valley.
- 1A: 2nd ranked Fleming matched Merino’s win by downing Lone Star in three.
- 1A: Cheraw kept their winning streak alive in a four set win over 2A Las Animas. It was the Wolverines 9th straight win and pushed their record to 10-1.
- 2A: Fowler dropped the first set but then rallied to down Rocky Ford 3-1. The Grizzlies bump to 8-0 overall and remain alone atop the Santa Fe race. Rocky Ford was tied for second with Hoehne but now falls two games back. Hoehne now has sole possession of second place.
- 3A: Delta kept a share of the Western Slope lead and stayed unbeaten in the conference with a 3-0 sweep of Roaring Fork.
- 3A: University handled Brush in three quick sets and they remain one game back of the three league leaders inside the Patriot (Eaton, Liberty Common & Resurrection Christian)
- 3A: Resurrection Christian kept their perfect overall record with an easy three-game win over Estes Park. The Cougars gave up just 34 points in the win.
- 3A: Liberty Common downed Strasburg 3-0 to remain unbeaten in the Patriot
- 3A: Sterling goes the distance in beating Eaton 3-2. For the Reds, it was their first conference loss and snapped a 7-match winning streak. Sterling has won eight in a row and remains one game back of the league leaders. Their league loss is against Resurrection Christian.
- 3A: Faith Christian should be the top challenger to Lutheran inside the Metro and the Eagles stayed unbeaten in conference play with a 3-0 sweep of Skyview Academy. The Eagles face Colorado Academy next Tuesday.
- 3A: Lamar took over sole possession of the Tri Peaks lead with their 3-0 win over Salida. The Savages were tied with Vanguard in first but the Coursers lost to St Mary’s in three
- 4A: Erie used a three-game sweep of Longmont to keep a share of first place in the NCAA. Both teams were unbeaten in conference play entering the match but the Trojans drop into third with Windsor with one loss apiece. Skyline and Windsor also play this evening.
- 4A: #1 Palmer Ridge downed Fountain Fort Carson 3-0 and moved to 2-0 in the rugged Pikes Peak conference. They were one of five teams that opened league play with a win on Tuesday night.
- 4A: Could be the match of the night as Rampart outlasted Cheyenne Mountain. The Rams took the first two sets but had to wait until the fifth and a 15-11 decision there to win the crucial Pikes Peak league contest.
- 4A: Frederick is now 6-0 in the Longs Peak division as they rolled past Mountain VIew in three. The Warriors are tied with Niwot atop the standings and each has a two-game edge on third place Thompson Valley. Niwot kept pace with a 3-0 win over Fort Morgan.
- 5A: Mountain Vista bounced back nicely from the five set loss to Highlands Ranch on Tuesday to beat Legend in three. The Golden Eagles remain one game back of the Falcons and Chaparral in the Centennial.
- 5A: Fruita Monument’s 3-0 sweep of Montrose gave the Wildcats the first half lead in the Southwestern league. Both clubs were unbeaten in league play entering the match and they will meet again next month. Montrose is ranked 8th in 4A but fell one game off the pace.
- 5A: Grandview opens the Centennial chase by beating Mullen 3-0
- 5A: Valor Christian survived in five sets to edge Chatfield as the Eagles win their Jeffco league opener. Ralston Valley kept pace with their 3-0 win over Pomona. The Eagles and Mustangs should battle for the league championship down the road.
Probably the best matchup on the schedule is the non-conference date between top ranked Merino and Weldon Valley. The defending state champion Rams are coming off their first loss of the year as they fell to Sedgwick County in five sets last Friday. Weldon Valley (6-5) won’t be a pushover as four of their five losses are against highly ranked teams in either 1A or 2A. The exception is last week’s loss to Akron.
It’s a big night inside the Santa Fe conference as the top three clubs are on the court. Fowler is unbeaten overall (7-0) and starts the night with a one-game edge on both Rocky Ford and Hoehne. The Grizzlies have already beaten Hoehne and face Rocky Ford tonight so another victory puts them in good shape for the championship and automatic playoff berth. Rocky Ford’s league loss came to Las Animas in five sets and they also face Hoehne down the road. Hoehne is favored against Crowley County and a win gives them a share of the conference lead should Rocky Ford upset Fowler. NOTE: The Hoehne/Crowley County game has been delayed until Monday October 11th due to COVID protocols.
It always seems to be a huge match when Eaton and Sterling get together and this year is no different. Their regular season matchup tonight will again heavily factor into the top of the Patriot league standings. Both have won seven straight matches and both enter ranked the top 10. But the Reds have a slight edge in the race as they’re unbeaten and tied with Resurrection Christian and Liberty Common in first place. Sterling has a loss to Resurrection Christian so they sit a game back and may be facing a must win situation to remain in the league title discussion.
2nd ranked Lamar looks to stay unbeaten as they host Salida. The Spartans (3-0) are heavily favored and begin the night tied with Vanguard (3-0) atop the Tri Peaks standings. The Coursers have a tougher test as they host St Mary’s (1-1). Vanguard is coming off a five set win over Colorado Springs Christian on Tuesday as Aubree Lang collected 12 kills. They also recorded a whopping 25 aces including six apiece from Skylar Ford and Kaitlyn Pinero.
In the West, Aspen (4-1) is off to a nice start and they head to the weekend sharing first place in the conference with three other clubs. Tonight they host Coal Ridge. Of the five matches for Aspen, three have gone five sets with the lone loss in non-league play to Basalt.
The top four teams in the NCAA collide tonight as Windsor goes to Skyline and Erie heads to Longmont. Erie, Skyline and Longmont are unbeaten in league action with Windsor a game back at 3-1. All four were in action on Tuesday with Longmont actually picking up a win over Skyline 3-0. That was a non-league match so both teams continue to share first place.
Erie downed Holy Family 3-1 and Windsor swept Mead 3-0 on Tuesday. The Tigers got a huge night from Maggie Olson as she finished with 12 kills and 30 assists. Both numbers led them. Jaydn Aragon also had four aces. Windsor used 11 kills from Julie Bohlinger, 12 digs from Elle Faulkner and 19 assists from Shae Hardy to down the Mavericks.
There’s also a high level pairing between Cheyenne Mountain and Rampart inside the Pikes Peak. The Red Tailed Hawks are ranked 3rd in Class 4A and the Rams are 9th in 5A. Each scored a nice win on opening night of league play back on Tuesday and they join Discovery Canyon, Liberty and Palmer Ridge at 1-0.
Rampart gave up just 36 points in sweeping Air Academy. Izzy Starck nearly had a triple double with 11 kills, 13 assists and nine aces. Cheyenne Mountain also swept Fountain Fort Carson for a third straight win. Their lone losses are to 5A powers Cherry Creek and Chaparral.
The first half lead in the Southwestern league goes to the winner between Fruita Monument and Montrose. Both are unbeaten in league play and each has a two game edge on all other teams. It’s the first of two meetings and the result from both should determine the top two spots and automatic playoff berth.
Both clubs played Durango last week. Montrose used five sets on Friday and Fruita pulled off the sweep on Saturday. Jullian Buck and BayLea Sparks each had 14 kills for Fruita and Trinity Hafey contributed 14 digs. Kylie Williams and Hayden Murry both generated 19 assists. Montrose was led by Madison Matousch (17) and Kelsey Rocco (11) who combined for 28 kills. The two also combined for 56 digs. The Indians totaled 21 aces including five from Jada Ray. Taygan Rocco had all 41 assists.
Conference play begins in both the Jeffco and Centennial chases. Cherry Creek and Grandview are ranked 1-2 statewide this week and they’re set to battle September 30th for their conference clash. Both are on the court tonight with the Bruins on the road to Arapahoe and the Wolves at home vs Mullen.
The key game inside the Jeffco pits Chatfield at Valor Christian. Toss in Ralston Valley and those teams should end up with the top three spots in the conference standings. Valor is 6-1 with a lone loss coming to top ranked Cherry Creek. They’ve won their last four including a solid 3-1 win over 4A defending state champion Palmer Ridge last week. In that win, Erin McNair had 13 kills and Grace Longer 10. Jocelyn Erickson served five aces and Delaney Russell picked up 23 digs. Steve Vigil (19) and Chloe Elarton (17) combined for 36 assists.
In the Centennial, Highlands Ranch and Chaparral are both 3-0 and tied for the league lead. Legend, Regis and Mountain Vista share third with one loss apiece. Chaparral has the night off but Highlands Ranch meets Heritage. The most attractive match has Legend against Mountain Vista. It’s a great rivalry and the loser drops two games back of the league leaders.